A portrait of women in same-sex marriage posing in front of a pride flag.

Research says that stronger. It’s a sentiment that many lovebirds can agree with, especially those who are in a same-sex marriage. Facing legal battles and social prejudices, among other million things, have weathered storms that their hetero-normative friends can scarcely imagine. But their journey tells profound truths about love and resilience that are often overlooked in mainstream conversations.

Same-Sex Weddings May Come With Bigger Bills

Perhaps one of the unexpected cons of gay marriage is how expensive the wedding can be. Most of the financial burden goes towards legalizing the union, should the couple wish to make their union official in the eyes of the law.

Couples from the Philippines, where same-sex marriage is not legal, may need to obtain certain permits in countries that have legalized it. For example, in Taiwan, one of the parties must be a resident registered in Taipei or is working or enrolled in a school in Taipei to become eligible.

Orchestrating such a move would require a huge investment in terms of money and time. However, the actual cost of certificates (new National ID cards, new household certificates, and marriage certificates) would only cost around NT$300, according to Taipei’s Department of Civil Affairs. 

That said, heterosexual unions can also be costly. In the Philippines, a Catholic wedding may require even more paperwork. Certain churches offer wedding packages at roughly P35,000 to P45,000, which may or may not include electricity costs. And that’s just the ceremony venue.

A Legally Acquired Same-Sex Marriage Certificate Is Not Recognized in the Philippines

The marriage certificate is valid only in the country where it was issued, which brings another issue: no legal protections and benefits. People in a same-sex marriage pay higher taxes and healthcare insurance premiums because they can’t file joint tax returns or access spousal healthcare benefits.

Moreover, they may encounter difficulties in securing certain benefits for each other. These include spousal healthcare and joint mortgages, adding financial strain. Moreover, same-sex couples need a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to make decisions for each other during medical emergencies, as many hospitals only recognize legal spouses and next of kin.

However, more inclusive private institutions have stepped up in recent years, allowing LGBTQ+ couples to list their partners as medical dependents entitled to the same benefits as a legal spouse. In addition, municipalities like Quezon City in Metro Manila have launched initiatives like the “Right to Care” card, which LGBTQ+ couples can present at select public hospitals in an emergency. It contains a QR code that links to a notarized, ready-to-use, SPA.

Planning a Same-Sex Marriage Can Be Twice as Stressful(But Also Twice as Fun)

is just as nerve-racking (if not more so) for gay couples as it is for their straight ones. There are so many gray areas. Do you have to invite unsupportive family members? Who will be the officiant?

But it’s not all angst and drama. Same-sex couples have the opportunity to develop their more personal rituals – an advantage over straight couples who are often stuck in or pressured into normative roles.

Lesbian couple Nica del Rosario and Justine Peña chose to walk together down the aisles and wore colorful gowns. TikToker Jake Delton and his husband Matt Glading used customized aquamarine cufflinks instead of rings as a symbol of their engagement. If something feels right for both partners, then it’s on the table.

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It’s One Happy Family

It’s a misguided assumption that same-sex marriage is not a “real” marriage because the couples can’t have children. For the record, children aren’t a requirement to validate a relationship or guarantee a happy life. Love, respect, and commitment are the true foundations of a strong partnership.

However, should LGBTQ+ Filipinos want kids, they can expand their families through adoption as single parents – not as a couple. However, this means only one of them will have parental rights over the child. There are also other alternatives for those who can afford it, such as same-sex surrogacy, which is only legal in a and sperm donation. Unfortunately, both are costly and lack comprehensive laws in the Philippines.

No One Wears the Pants

and expectations have no place in same-sex marriage, and that’s probably why researchers say queer couples have higher levels of compared to different-sex couples.

Same-sex partners are less likely to fall into stereotypical patterns of behavior since they can’t rely on default male-female differences to decide who should do what. Household tasks like laundry, childcare, and cooking are divided equally, with everyone taking on responsibilities based on their abilities. In turn, they have heightened awareness of the need for open communication and mutual agreement, which fosters a deeper sense of understanding.

If there’s anything to learn from same-sex marriage, it’s that love wins, eventually. While there’s still a long way to go until LGBTQ+ Filipinos can legalize their union, hope remains. In the meantime, let’s keep fighting the good battle.