SC turns down plea for same sex marriage
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the petition to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines, saying it is a matter best addressed to Congress.
At a press conference, SC’s Public Information Chief Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka said the petition filed by Atty. Jesus Nicardo Falcis III also violated the principle of hierarchy of courts just as he failed “to raise an actual justiciable controversy.” Hosaka also said that Falcis has no legal standing on the case.
In a petition filed by Falcis in 2015, he asked SC to nullify Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code as well as Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same law.
Articles 1 and 2 limited marriages between man and woman while Articles 46(4) and 55 (6) mention lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
According to Falcis, the Family Code – in limiting marriage between man and woman – is unconstitutional because it deprives his right to liberty without substantive due process of law and equal protection of the laws, violating Section 3(1) Article 15 of the 1987 Constitution.
Quoting SC’s ruling, Hosaka said the high court “recognized protracted history of discrimination and marginalization faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer, intersex and other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQI+) community, along with their still ongoing struggle for equality.”
However, he added, the high court likewise said the fight of LGBTQI+ for their right against discrimination for their choice of relationships and official recognition of their partnerships “may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress.”
“Legislation ideally allows public democratic deliberation on the various ways to assure these fundamental rights. The process of legislation exposes the experiences of those who have been oppressed, ensuring that this be understood by those who stand with the majority,” SC said in the decision written by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
“Often public reason needs to be first shaped through the crucible of campaigns and advocacies within our political forums before it sharpened for judicial fiat,” he added.
At the same time, SC held for indirect contempt Falcis as well as lawyers Darwin Angeles Keisha Trina Guangko and Christopher Ryan Maranan. It explained that “to forget [the bare rudiments of court procedure and decorum] – or worse, to purport to know them, but really, only to exploit them by way of propaganda – and then, to jump headlong into the taxing endeavor of constitutional litigation is a contemptuous betrayal of the high standards of the legal profession.”
The Court then cautioned the public against filing of premature petitions saying it “may do more harm than good.”
“Good intentions are no substitute for deliberate, conscious and responsible action. Litigation for the public interest for those who have been marginalized and oppressed deserve much more than the way that it has been handled in this case,” SC pointed out. /kga
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