Allowing same-sex union grants additional rights to LGBT couples, says lawyer


Posted at Jun 26 2018 08:07 PM | Updated as of Jun 26 2018 08:56 PM

A university student pose beside a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) advocacy standee in Manila, May 25, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Allowing same-sex marriage in the Philippines would mean granting additional rights to gay couples, a lawyer claimed Tuesday.

Lawyer Fernando Perito, an intervenor-oppositor in the case on marriage equality, argued before the Supreme Court Tuesday that denying recognition of same-sex unions does not violate the equal protection clause.

"Both homosexuals and heterosexuals have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex but homosexuals wanted to be treated differently simply because they want to be treated specially," he told magistrates of the high court during the resumption of oral arguments on the issue.

"There is never any law or prohibition in our society denying them to love and be loved even by their own kind," he added.

The high court last week began talks on legalizing same-sex marriage, opening the legal discussion of a taboo in Asia's bastion of Catholicism.

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.”

His plea sought to declare as unconstitutional portions of the Family Code of the Philippines which "define and limit marriage as between man and woman."

Perito then went on to allege that homosexuals are seeking "additional rights" and noted that not allowing same-sex marriage is an "appropriate discrimination" like prohibitions on incestuous relationships and bestiality.

"They are asking for additional rights your honor and they want more," he said.

"I've been pondering your honor, what could be the basis of such rights if afforded to them..." he said.

"It has been observed that the government does not afford or wouldn’t allow me to marry my cousin, my sister or having two women or at least marry my pet dog," he added.

Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier told the high court that the Constitution does not allow same-sex unions despite petitioner's argument that the State's charter does not provide any gender restrictions when it comes to marriage.