Same-sex marriage to ensure LGBT couples' property rights: lawyer

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2017 01:32 PM

MANILA - Same-sex marriage will ensure the property rights of LGBT couples, a lawyer said Tuesday, following President Rodrigo Duterte's statement of support for the controversial proposal.

Soledad Mawis, dean of the Lyceum College of Law, explained that right now the premise of property rights in the Family Code is a heterosexual relationship.

"Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code is basically... The premise is a heterosexual relationship. So to avoid any gray areas then you legislate a law defining property relations between homosexuals," she said in an interview on ANC. 

But for Michael Anthony Mapa of the group of Filipinos for Life, the basis for property rights is given to heterosexual couples because they are able to procreate and produce the next generation.

Mapa, who calls marriage a "comprehensive union of mind and body," added that studies show children do best when they live with biological parents.

"The issue is basically is this kind bond is a special bond that results in the production of the next generation. The interest of the state is this generation is reared well by an intact couple," he said.

Mawis, however, argued that raising children is not limited to biological parents as there is such a thing as adoption. She added that marriage and family goes beyond procreation. 

"A man and a woman without children is still a family," she said. 

"The Family Code has to be amended. Because the Family Code has not been defined in the Constitution... Who defined family as limiting to man and woman only?"

Mawis stressed that it is about time to discuss same-sex marriage as there are people who need to be happy, and this happiness comes in legally being recognized as a couple.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he wants same-sex marriage legalized in the Philippines. "I want same-sex marriage. The problem is we'll have to change the law. But we can change the law," he said over the weekend. 

"The law says marriage is a union between a man and a woman. I don't have any problems making it marrying a man, marrying a woman or whatever is the predilection of the human being," he added.