Supreme Court thumbs down same-sex marriage petition

Supreme Court thumbs down same-sex marriage petition
The Supreme Court en back dismissed the petition of lawyer Jesus Falcis to allow same-sex marriage in the country due to the petitioner's lack of standing.
SC PIO / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court voted unanimously to dismiss the petition to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines.

In a statement released Tuesday, the high court said the petition was dismissed due to lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III's "lack of standing, violating the principle of hierarchy of courts, and failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy."

This is despite acknowledging that the 1987 Constitution does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Falcis, an openly gay lawyer, filed the petition in October 2015, which sought to strike down the prohibitions against same-sex marriage under the Family Code.

While the high court recognized the struggles of the LGBT community, the SC decided that Congress should address matters on same-sex partnerships.

The SC en banc, through ponente Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, said "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 high court also held Falcis and his co-counsels Darwin Angeles, Keisha Trina Guangko and Christopher Maranan liable for indirect contempt.

In the same decision, the SC explained that "[t]o 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."

Upon the start of the oral arguments on the same-sex marriage petition last year, Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza told Falcis that his case was in "great peril" and that it would be dismissed as the petitioner was not trying to seek a marriage license.

In July 2018, the high court warned that Falcis would be "dealt with more severely" if he were to continue contemptuous acts in court.

This was after he was admonished for wearing improper attire during the case's preliminary conference. — Patricia Lourdes Viray




As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 3, 2019 - 2:19pm

Here are major updates on the legalization of same-sex marriage globally.

September 3, 2019 - 2:19pm

The Supreme Court of the Philippines junks the petition on same-sex marriage, citing the "lack of standing" of petitioner, lawyer Jesus Falcis who asked the court to declare unconstitutional provisions of the Family Code identifying marriage as a contract between a man and a woman.

The high court found Falcis to have violated principle of hierarchy of courts and failed to raise an "actual controversies."

"It is only through the existence of actual facts and real adversarial presentations that this Court can fully weigh the implications and consequences of its pronounces," read a press statement the Supreme Court's information office released.

May 24, 2019 - 9:41am

Taiwan's first official same-sex weddings kick off in a landmark moment for LGBT rights in Asia, as government offices open their doors to welcome same-sex couples wanting to register as married.

Two couples — one male, one female — were the first to arrive at a government office in downtown Taipei, kissing and embracing before signing their marriage certificates, the culmination of the three-decade fight for equal rights.

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