Is same-sex marriage on the way to the Philippines? Even better, does the constitution already leave space for marriage equality? Unfortunately, that’s a no on both fronts despite what the Supreme Court thinks.
This past Monday, the Philippines’ Supreme Court ruled to reject a motion for considering same-sex marriage. To defend this decision, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen argued that the plain text in the country’s Constitution does not define or restrict marriage based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
According to ABS-CBN News, the Associate Justice wasn’t totally oblivious to anti-gay discrimination in the nation. In the decision, he acknowledged the marginalization of LGBTQ people and the struggle for equality. That said, he then pushed the responsibility of addressing same-sex partnerships and marriage to the nation’s Congress.
To Jesus Falcis, the LGBTQ advocate who filed the motion to have same-sex marriage considered, this court decision is nothing but rejection. After all, he filed the motion asking the high court to declare a portion of the Family Code of the Philippines, which outright says “define and limit marriage as between man and woman” despite Marvic Leonen’s claim, as unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, anti-gay Representative and House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva applauded the decision to not change the 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.
Source: ABS CBN News