MANILA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is in favor of same-sex union but against same-sex marriage, his spokesman said on Monday.
"The president opposes same-sex marriage. The president is part of the majority in opposing (same-sex marriage), but as for union, the president is in favor of it," presidential spokesman Harry Roque told a news conference in Mason City in Southern Leyte in the central Philippines.
He said Duterte favors same-sex civil union because it "fixes the different aspects of the union of those of the same sex."
In December last year, Duterte said that he was in favor of changing the law to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
"I want gay marriage. The problem is we have to change the law, but we can change the law," Duterte said in a speech before a gathering of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) in Davao City.
A survey conducted by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) from March 23 to March 27, showed that nationwide, 61 percent of the 1,200 respondents were against legalizing the civil union of two men or two women. Forty-four percent strongly disagreed with such a law, while 17 percent somewhat disagreed, the survey said.
A panel in the House of Representatives of the Philippines is deliberating a bill legalizing same sex and live-in relationships, calling it civil partnership.
If the House bill becomes law, same sex and live-in couples may be able to enjoy benefits given to married couples. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a friend and ally of Duterte, authored the bill.
The bill proposes "to allow couples to enter into a civil partnership, whether they are of the opposite or of the same sex."