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Church groups laud nixing of same-sex marriage plea

MANILA, Philippines — Top religious leaders welcomed on Tuesday the Supreme Court’s decision to junk with finality the petition to allow same-sex marriage in the country.“At least the SC still upholds what the Church holds,” said Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, who said the Catholic Church would always uphold the teachings of Christ on marriage regardless of what the state legislates.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the decision was good and that the country should focus on other issues “and problems that affect the poor and the needy, like poverty, work, overseas Filipino workers and climate change.”

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The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed with finality the 2015 petition of lawyer Jesus Falcis III to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines.

The petition had asked the high court to nullify Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code for allegedly being unconstitutional for allowing marriage only between a man and a woman.

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The high court had dismissed the same petition in September 2019, pointing out that the issue should be addressed to Congress.

In a two-page resolution dated Dec. 10, 2019 but made public only on Monday, the high court said it decided to deny the appeal because “no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision.” It also ordered that “(n)o further pleadings or motions be entertained (and that) entry of judgment be made immediately.” While he was happy with the court’s decision, Fr. Melvin Castro of the Diocese of Tarlac said such joy was “incomplete since the SC noted that the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit same sex union.”

“From its plain text, the Constitution does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression,” said Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka at a press briefing, quoting the high court’s ruling.

Evangelist, Jesus is Lord fellowship founder and House Deputy Speaker Eddie Villanueva also lauded the decision, saying that marriage “must be confined between man and woman. It is not only the divine will of God; it is also the standing spirit and will of the laws of our land.”

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TAGS: Church groups, religious leaders, same sex marriage, Supreme Court
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