MANILA, Philippines (ChurchMilitant.com) - The highest court in the Philippines has rejected a petition to legalize so-called same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines, which currently consists of 15 justices, unanimously threw out a case Sept. 2 that sought to declare articles of the Philippine Family Code unconstitutional for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Jesus Nicardo Falcis III, an openly homosexual lawyer and LGBT activist, launched his petition in 2015, claiming discrimination and adding a gay and a lesbian couple to his petition in 2016.
The court dismissed the case on the grounds that Falcis had no legal standing since he never applied for a marriage license, meaning there was no potential violation of Falcis' constitutional rights that could be evaluated.
Church Militant spoke about the highest court's recent decision with Aileen Madejanon, a Catholic Filipino living in the city of Koronadal, South Cotabato.
Madejanon was pleased by the court's decision and explained how the ruling was about reality and truth:
I'm so glad that the court has refused to legalize same sex marriage here in the Philippines. This is not discrimination, but a recognition of reality. As Bishop Rhoades said: "Our Civil Code does not discriminate when it demands the requirement of being a man and a woman to contract marriage; it only recognizes a natural reality."
We Filipinos, most especially we Catholics ― who are the majority here ― firmly believe in and support the sanctity of marriage. We believe in natural and divine law; we believe God has made His will clear that marriage is, was, and always will be a holy union between one man and one woman.
Faithful to her divine founder, the Catholic Church will always remain steadfast in her teachings and so can never recognize same-sex unions. Fidelity to truth is essential.
In a press release, the court did note that the Constitution "does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of … sexual orientation, or gender identity" and said that same-sex unions "may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress."
The court held Falcis and his co-counsels Darwin Angeles, Keisha Trina Guangko and Christopher Maranan liable for indirect contempt for possible ignorance or attempted manipulation of constitutional litigation:
To forget [the basics of court procedure and decorum] — or worse, to purport to know them, but really, only to exploit them by way of propaganda — and then, to jump headlong into the taxing endeavor of constitutional litigation is a contemptuous betrayal of the high standards of the legal profession.
Falcis runs a blog where he offers an explanation for his LGBT advocacy:
I am a Filipino citizen simply trying to fight for the recognition and protection of human rights of LGBTs and other vulnerable sectors of society. I advocate against misinformation and propaganda.
I comment on and analyze current events involving LGBTs, human rights, and good governance - and pop culture sometimes. 😉
Only news links from reputable media sources will be posted.
Comments containing hate speech and grave threats shall be deleted. This is a regulated marketplace of ideas.
Falcis, in tandem with other gay rights activists, expressed disappointment and have promised to continue pushing for same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
Of the 107 million people in the Philippines, 80% identify as Roman Catholic, putting those pushing for same-sex marriage in the minority.
Another Catholic Filipino living in the city of Pasig in Metro Manila, going by her first name, Rhea, expressed her happiness over the court's decision to Church Militant: "I am very happy that my country rejected this case. We do not want same-sex marriage here."