By Evelyn Macairan, September 4 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Voting 15-0, the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday denied a petition seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.

The high tribunal pointed to Congress as the branch of government that could address the appeal for the recognition of same-sex marriage.

SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said the magistrates dismissed the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III.

In the petition, Falcis asked the high court to declare unconstitutional Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code, and nullify Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same code.

Articles 1 and 2 state that only marriages between a man and a woman are valid.

The SC found violations in the petition.

“While acknowledging that the Constitution does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, the Court dismissed Falcis’ petition on account of his lack of standing, violating the principle of hierarchy of courts and failing to raise an actual justiciable controversy,” the SC said in a statement.

The SC said the decision, penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, recognizes the history of discrimination and marginalization experienced by those belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQI+) community, along with their still ongoing struggle for equality.

The high court acknowledged that same-sex couples may insist their right against discrimination, but it said the matter should be addressed to Congress.