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Monday, June 24, 2024

#ANONGBALITA: Walang forever? Leonen gives ‘real talk’ on love, outdated laws

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A senior magistrate of the Supreme Court lamented some of the existing laws governing marriage and marital relationship now appear to be outdated.

Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, in his lecture about “Legal and Political Foundations of the Current Restrictions on Intimacies and Relationship: A Critical View from the Bench” at the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City, tackled the complexities of marriage, legitimacy of children, divorce, and annulment, among others.

“Those who establish and maintain relationships and love differently from the ideals of the conservative Catholic majority are not less human, they are no less Filipinos. To be different is not to be abnormal. To be different from the hegemonic definition of what humans should be is not illegitimate,” Leonen said.

“The capacity to love is a human capacity. You are not less human just because you find love in the same biological sex. You are not less human if you want a relationship that is different from marriage. You are not less human if your premise with another is that there is no forever but you can work to be with each other for as long as you both can,” he added.

He said the country’s laws should “make love real for all our people.”

Leonen said instead, the law has made it difficult for Filipinos to move out of unhappy marriages.

“Marriage as the foundation of family no longer reflects the present realities and sensitivities of many Filipino families,” he said.

Leonen lamented the Philippines remains the only country outside the Vatican that has no absolute divorce law available for its citizens.

He said before the Spanish colonial period, the Philippines did have divorce laws.

He said Spain had already changed its law decades ago.

“The antiquated form from our colonial past is still codified in our laws and is still being reiterated in jurisprudence 135 years later,” he said.

“Perhaps if we truly want justice, we will see how antiquated our laws are. If we truly are for justice, we will feel how we impose a burden that is a vestige of our colonial past, that even our colonizer chose to no longer impose on their own people,” he added.

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