Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he is in favor of same-sex marriage.
Duterte, who has long been opposed to sex-sex marriage, has had a change of opinion. According to a Rappler report, Duterte's statement is not unfounded, since he once told a TV host that, "No gay person is disrespected. Because I don't like oppression."
The oftentimes controversial president was addressing LGBT individuals on Sunday.
"I am for (same) sex marriage if that is the trend of modern times," he said.
"If that will add to your happiness, I am for it," the president said during the event in his home city of Davao in southern Philippines.
“So I am with you.”
Duterte promised to protect the rights of members of the community. He also suggested the group nominate an LGBT representative for a government position. “You nominate somebody who is honest, hardworking. I give you until the second week of January to nominate,” he said.
The head of state will likely face heavy criticism from the Catholic Church for his comments.
Duterte was previously quoted by local media opposing same-sex marriage, stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
But, according to the Inquirer, Duterte's stance has seemingly changed, citing gay family members.
"Why impose a morality that is no longer working and almost passe," he said, adding that "there will be no oppression" during his term in office and that his government would recognize the LGBT community's "importance in society."
Most countries in Western Europe and the Americas have recognized same-sex unions. Australia is the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage.
However, in the East, Vietnam and Taiwan are the most liberal countries both supporting marriage equality but have yet to enact a marry law.