Thursday 16 August, 2018
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Falcis argues for legalizing same-sex unions: Constitution doesn’t say marriage should be between man, woman only

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The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday heard proponents of same-sex marriage defend their positions during oral arguments.

Lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III filed the controversial petition seeking the lifting of the prohibitions on same-sex marriage for being unconstitutional.

He was joined by male couple Crescencio Agbayani and Marlon Felipe and one Sugar Ibanez and her partner.

Falcis reiterated that portions of Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code which defines and limits marriage as between man and woman and portions of Articles 4 (4) and 55 (6) which mentions lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation of the Family Code should be nullified for being unconstitutional.

“Nothing in Article XV (The Family) or other provisions of the Constitution limits the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. But something in the Constitution commands that marriage under the Family Code be extended to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender couples,” Falcis told the justices.

Falcis argued that Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code are unconstitutional as they deprive the petitioners of the right to marry without substantive due process; deny the petitioners of the equal protection of the laws; and violate the religious freedom of petitioners.

“LGBT couples, with or without children, constitute a family and so should have access to marriage to serve as their foundation,” he explained.

During interpellation, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen described the petition as “a very dangerous case” as the issue would require the SC “a very intimate reading of the provisions of the Constitution.”

Leonen also noted that in other countries in the United States, Europe and Australia such as the United States, the issue of same-sex marriage have resulted in “political battles” that were waged in parliaments, Congress, churches and other political venues.

“We are going up against a very powerful heteronormative culture in this country,” Leonen pointed out.

Meanwhile, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro discussed the possibility that the implementation of some laws would be affected if same-sex marriage is allowed.

She asked Falcis how the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on concubinage and adultery should apply in case of same-sex marriage.

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