The Supreme Court on Tuesday junked the petition filed by a group of lawyers to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
During the en banc session, the high tribunal decided that the petition cannot be given due course. The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Mario Victor Leonen.
The Office of the Solicitor General sought to junk the petition filed by lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis 3rd and his co-counsels. He asked the Supreme Court to rule as null and void Executive Order 209, also known as “The Family Code of the Philippines.”
The high court voted to dismiss the petition for certiorari and prohibition, which questioned the constitutionality of Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code and asked to nullify Articles 46(4) and 55(6) of the same law.
The tribunal said the petition failed to raise “an actual, justiciable controversy.” It added that the matter of same sex marriage should be addressed to Congress.
The court said it recognized the protracted history of discrimination and marginalization faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other gender and sexual minorities community, and their struggle for equality.
“Same-sex couples may morally claim that they have a right against discrimination for their choice of relationships. Official recognition of their partnerships may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress,” the high court said.
Adjudication, the tribunal pointed out, assures arguments between parties with respect to the existence and interpretation of fundamental freedoms. “On the other hand, legislation ideally allows public democratic deliberation on the various ways to assure these fundamental rights. The process of legislation exposes the experiences of those who have been oppressed, ensuring that this be understood by those who are with the majority. Often public reason needs to be first shaped through the crucible of campaigns and advocacies within our political forum be sharpened for judicial fiat,” it added.
The petition assailed Articles 1 and 2, which “define and limit marriage as between man and woman.”
Falcis, a Metro Manila resident and a self-confessed gay, filed the case as a taxpayer’s suit, arguing those provisions “deprive [him] and other homosexuals the right to liberty without substantive due process of law” and “deny them the equal protection of the laws.” He also alleged that the provisions would declare gays and lesbians as “second class citizens.”