The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hold oral arguments on the petition seeking to abolish the provisions under the Family Code of the Philippines that prohibit same-sex marriages.
In a media briefing, SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the Court has set an oral argument on the matter on June 19, 2018 to hear the petition challenging the constitutionality of several provisions of the Family Code that disallowed same-sex marriages.
“The petition is one for certiorari and prohibition challenging certain provisions of the Family Code on marriage where they impact on ‘same-sex’ marriages,” Te said.
IN 2015, lawyer Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III filed the petition after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The petitioner identified himself as “openly gay.”
In particular, Falcis asked the SC to nullify Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code as well as Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same law.
Articles 1 and 2 limited marriages between man and woman, while Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) mentions lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
The petitioner argued that the Family Code, in limiting marriage between man and woman, is unconstitutional because it deprives his right to liberty without substantive due process of law, the equal protection of the laws and also violated Section 3(1) Article 15 of the 1987 Constitution.
Falcis explained that the State’s interest is to protect marriage as the foundation of the family.
“The 1987 Constitution does not define marriage solely as between man and woman,” the petitioner said.
According to the petitioner, the Family Code does not require married individuals to procreate or have the ability to procreate. He added that there is also no law prohibiting homosexuals to adopt a child.
However, the Office of the Solicitor General led by then Solicitor General Florin Hilbay sought for the dismissal of the petition, saying it was “intrinsically flawed.”
The former solicitor general pointed out that even law students would know that such reason is not enough justification for impugning the constitutionality of Articles 1,2,46(4) and 55(6) of the Family Code.
“This is an invitation to a debate or coffee-shop conversation, not a constitutional litigation,” Hilbay said.