LGBT couples want legal rights, lawyer says

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2018 11:23 PM

MANILA - A lawyer who urged the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the definition of marriage in the Family Code said LGBT couples want to be given the same legal rights as other couples.

Speaking on ANC, Atty. Jesus Falcis said "the piece of paper" LGBT couples want is just the same as what other couples want when they decide to get married.

"A lot of people take marriage for granted. We can throw back the question to them. Why are they celebrating public weddings with their friends and family? Why are they applying for a marriage license? Why are they looking for that piece of paper? And, whatever their answer is, that is the same answer for LGBT couples," he said.

Falcis added that a marriage certificate can give LGBT couples the same legal rights as other couples, such as the right to decide for their partner in case of severe injury or death.

"So it can be very different for each couple. It can be based on security and peace of mind. That whatever happens to you, there is this partner who knows you and who you give legal rights over you. So if you're comatose, or if you're in an accident and you find yourself in the hospital and you cannot speak, you cannot make decisions for yourself. Your partner will not be recognized to make decisions for you," he explained.

Legalizing same-sex marriage will also benefit LGBT couples who are not supported by their families.

"Unfortunately there are some LGBT couples who don't have supportive families. What if, and this is happening, what if those families forbid or lock out the partner from the hospital room or from the funeral?" Falcis said.

In 2015, Falcis urged the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which define and limit marriage as "between man and woman."

The Office of the Solicitor General earlier urged the high court to dismiss Falcis' petition.