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Senate President Tito Sotto on Thursday said he doubts civil unions for same-sex couples will be legalized in the Philippines despite Pope Francis’ endorsement of legal partnerships for the LGBT.

“I doubt it,” the conservative senator said when asked if the pope’s statement regarding same-sex union will have an effect on lawmakers and legislation in the Philippines.

“Same-sex union is already being practiced here and there is nothing we can do about it. Same-sex marriage is the one which is not acceptable to many religions and other sectors,” Sotto said.

“It’s just tolerated but not in the legal sense. We should leave it at that. Baka mapainitan pa,” he said.

Francis became the first pope to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” he said.

“You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” Francis said.

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