Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte provided another scandalous statement this week during a visit to Japan. In the speech, he said that he was gay in the past but “managed to recover” because of “beautiful women.”
In a speech to the Filipino community in Japan, Duterte addressed one of his political opponents, Sen. Antonio Trillanes. Duterte said that Trillanes’s body language clearly doubted that he attracted to men. “You can ask any gay person to look at Trillanes, and he’ll tell you that,” the president said, then added: “It’s nice that I and Trillanes are alike, even though I have cured myself.”
Duterte told the audience that he was gay until he met his Jewish ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman. “When I started the relationship with Zimmerman I told myself that’s it. Later he said that he did not mind being gay: “So I’m gay, I do not care if I’m gay or not.” Duterte’s comments were cited in Newsweek, Fox News, and CNN in the Philippines.
In 2015, a year before he was elected president, Duterte said that homosexuals were created by God and therefore religion must recognize homosexuality. “Same-sex marriage is good, everyone deserves to be happy,” he said in an interview in 2015.
Later he changed his view. Duterte, who is known for his rudeness, called the then US ambassador to the Philippines, “Homo son of a bitch.” In 2017 he claimed that same-sex couples should not be married. There is a civil code where you can marry only with a woman, and a woman can marry only with a man. This is the law in the Philippines,” he stressed.