Supreme Court resumes oral arguments on same-sex marriage


Posted at Jun 26 2018 12:36 PM | Updated as of Jun 26 2018 06:43 PM

Supreme Court resumes oral arguments on same-sex marriage 1
Members of the LGBT community hold candles as they take part in a rally in front of the Supreme Court in Manila on June 19, 2018. The Philippines' top court heard arguments on June 19 for legalizing same-sex marriage, a historic first in the overwhelmingly Catholic nation. Ted Aljibe, AFP

MANILA- The Supreme Court continued on Tuesday its 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.”

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."

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 an intervenor.

Oral arguments on Falcis' plea opens the legal discussion of a taboo in Asia's bastion of Catholicism, where 80 percent of its 100 million people subscribe to the faith.

Falcis last week argued before the high court that unlike heterosexual couples, he does not have the right to decide whether he can legally marry as a gay man.

"As a Filipino, I am attracted to the same sex and I admit that your honor. I do not have the right to may or may not marry as other people situated in the Philippines," he told the high court.

Solicitor General Jose Calida is expected to respond to Falcis' arguments on Tuesday as he argues for the dismissal of the petition.

Calida, in his comment filed on March 29, 2016, argued that Falcis' plea should be thrown out since the latter failed to show an “injury in fact.”

The government's top lawyer said Falcis' plea is simply a quest for an advisory opinion since there is no case or controversy that needs the high court’s intervention.

You can listen to the Supreme Court's discussion here: