SC sets oral argument on same-sex marriage
The Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that it will conduct a debate on whether to abolish the prohibition under the Family Code and allow same-sex marriages in the Philippines.
High Court’s Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te said an oral argument on the matter is set on June 19, 2018.
“The petition is one for certiorari and prohibition challenging certain provisions of the Family Code on marriage where they impact on ‘same-sex’ marriages,” Te said at a press conference.
The petition was filed in 2015 by Atty. Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III who identifies himself as “openly gay.” His petition was filed a few days after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.
Falcis urged the high court 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) mentions lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
A few days after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, the Philippine Supreme Court acted on the petition that seeks to abolish the prohibition under the Family Code and allow same-sex marriages in the country.
The petitioner said 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, the equal protection of the laws and also violated Section 3(1) Article 15 of the 1987 Constitution.
He explained that the State’s interest is to protect marriage as the foundation of the family.
“The 1987 Constitution does not define marriage solely as between man and woman,” Falcis argued.
The Family Code, according to Falcis, does not require married individuals to procreate or have the ability to procreate. He added that there is also no law prohibiting homosexuals to adopt a child.
But government lawyers, led by then Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, said the petition was “intrinsically flawed”
He said even law students would know that such reason is not enough justification for impugning the constitutionality of Articles 1, 2, 46(4) and 55(6) of the Family Code.
“This is an invitation to a debate or coffee-shop conversation, not a constitutional litigation,” Hilbay said. /je
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