Supreme Court junks same sex marriage plea

September 03, 2019

The Supreme Court yesterday junked the petition of lawyer Jesus Falcis seeking to  legalize same sex marriage in the country.

SC Public Information chief Brian Keith Hosaka said the petition was junked for “lack of standing of petitioner Falcis, violation of principle of hierarchy of courts and failing to raise actual, justiciable controversy.”

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

“The court through the ponente, AJ Marvic Leonen, recognized the protracted history of discrimination, and marginalization faced by the lesbian, gay,  bisexual transgender, queer, intersex, and other gender sexual minorities (LGBTQI+) community along with their still ongoing struggle for equality, acknowledged that same-sex couples may morally claim that they have  a right against discrimination for their choice of relationships and that official recognition of their partnerships may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress,” the SC said in a statement.

Falcis III, who admitted to being gay, filed the controversial petition for certiorari and prohibition and he was joined in the petition by male couple Crescencio Agbayani and Marlon Felipe and a certain Sugar Ibanez and her partner.

Falcis is asking the Court to nullify portions of Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code, which defines and limits marriage as between man and woman;” and to “nullify portions of Articles 4.6 (4) and 55 (6) which mentions lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation of the Family Code as a consequence of the unconstitutionality of Articles 1 and 2.”

But Solicitor General Jose Calida asked theSC to dismiss the petition filed in May 2015 challenging the validity of provisions of the Family Code limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

“The definition of marriage adopted by the drafters of our Constitution is guided by the teachings of history and the recognition of the traditions that underlie our society. Marriage, as traditionally conceived in the Philippines, has always been between a man and a woman. Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code are constitutional,” Calida said.

Quoting 1987 Constitutional Commission member Bernardo Villegas, Calida explained that “same sex relationships was foremost on the minds of the framers [of the 1987 Constitution] when they deliberated on the meaning of family and marriage,” stressing that while there was empathy for this sector of society, “both natural law and religious values affirm that the normal family relationship is between man and woman.”

Calida insisted that marriage as defined under the Constitution has always been between a man and a woman.

He pointed out that marriage, as defined in the Constitution, is “geared towards procreation, which only a man and a woman can have through biological sex.”