(UPDATE) The Supreme Court on Monday denied with finality a motion for reconsideration filed by Jesus Falcis and other LGBT advocates seeking recognition of same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
The SC had junked Falcis' petition in September last year, citing lack of legal standing, failure to raise an actual justiciable issue and violation of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, who penned the decision, said the plain text of the Constitution does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, based on excerpts quoted in a SC media briefer.
He also said the Court recognized the history of discrimination and marginalization faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer, intersex, and other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQI+) and their struggle for equality but said official recognition of their partnerships should be addressed to Congress.
Falcis filed the petition in 2015. He described himself in the pleading as "an open and self-identified homosexual."
Falcis asked the high court to declare as unconstitutional a portion of the Family Code of the Philippines which "define and limit marriage as between man and woman."
Meanwhile, CIBAC Representative and House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva lauded the decision of the Supreme Court, saying it should be a reminder for lawmakers not to attempt to change the existing policy on marriage.
“The Family Code was crafted to mirror the historical, traditional and religious values of Filipinos on marriage. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution in Filipino life, has always been conceived between a man and a woman. Hence, to nullify such law which bears our values on marriage is tantamount to denying our identity as a people and betraying our deep-held morals. It is not only against God, it is also against ourselves as a people,” Villanueva, who is also the president-founder of Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide, said.
“The Supreme Court decision is a welcome development to us. It reaffirms our belief that we are in the right path when we stand to defend that marriage is just and must be confined between man and woman. It is not only the divine will of God, it is also the standing spirit and will of the laws of our land,” he added.
The country's existing laws limit marriages between man and woman as mandated in the Family Code.
The Family Code also mentions homosexuality or lesbianism as grounds for annulment and legal separation.