MANILA- The Supreme Court on Tuesday will begin oral arguments on a petition that seeks to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
The petition was filed in May 2015 by lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III, who described himself in the pleading as "an open and self-identified homosexual.”
The historic case promises to open the legal discussion of a taboo in Asia's bastion of Catholicism.
Falcis is asking 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."
Named respondents in the case were the Civil Registrar General while petitioners-in-intervention include LGBTS Christian Church Inc, Reverend Crescencio "Ceejay" Agbayani Jr., Marlon Felipe, and Maria Arlyn "Sugar" Ibanez.
Lawyer Fernando Perito is, meanwhile, an intervenor.
During the oral arguments, both parties are given 20 minutes each to argue their case.
After which, magistrates of the high court will then be given the opportunity to ask questions related to the matter.
The parties are directed to argue on the following issues:
- Whether or not the petition and/or the petition in intervention is properly the subject of the exercise of the Court's power of judicial review;
- Whether or not the right to marry and the right to choose whom to marry are cognates of the right to life and liberty;
- Whether or not the limitation of civil marriage to opposite-sex couples is a valid exercise of police power;
- Whether or not limiting civil marriages to opposite-sex couples violates the equal protection clause;
- Whether or not denying same-sex couples the right to marry amounts to a denial of their right to life and/or liberty without due process of law;
- Whether or not sex-based conceptions of marriage violate religious freedom;
- Whether or not a determination that Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code are unconstitutional must necessarily carry with it the conclusion that Articles 46(4) and 55(6) in the Family Code (re: homosexuality and lesbianism as grounds for annulment and legal separation) are also unconstitutional; and
- Whether or not the parties are entitled to the reliefs prayed for.
You can listen to the Supreme Court's discussion here: