The Supreme Court on Tuesday junked the petition seeking to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines, saying it is a matter that should be addressed to Congress.
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SC’s Public Information Chief Brian Keith Hosaka said the petition filed by Atty. Jesus Nicardo Falcis III seeking to declare certain provisions of the Family Code as unconstitutional to allow same-sex marriage violated the principle of hierarchy of courts, failure to raise an actual justiciable controversy and the petitioner himself has no legal standing.
Falcis’ petition, which was filed in 2015, sought nullification of 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 a man and a woman, while Articles 46(4) and 55 (6) cites lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
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.
In a decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the SC said that it "recognized protracted history of discrimination and marginalization faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer, intersex and other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQI+) community, along with their still ongoing struggle for equality."
However, the high court said LGBTQI+ fight for their right against discrimination for their choice of relationships and “official recognition of their partnerships may for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress."
Leonen also emphasized that “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 stand with the majority. Often public reason needs to be first shaped through the crucible of campaigns and advocacies within our political forums before it sharpened for judicial fiat," he said.
The tribunal also held that Falcis and his fellow lawyers, Darwin Angeles, Keisha Trina Guangko, and Christopher Ryan Maranan, are liable for indirect contempt for violation of court rules and procedures.
“To forget the rudiment 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,” the SC said.
“What we do in the name of the public interest be the result of collective decision coming from well-thought-out strategies of the movement in whose name we bring a case before this Court. Otherwise, premature petitions filed by those who seek to see their names in our jurisprudential records may only do more harm than good. Litigation for the public interest for those who have been marginalized and oppressed deserve much more than the way that it has been handled in this case,” the high court said.
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