LGBTQ+ and allies
gather for SC oral arguments on marriage equality
June 20, 2018
QUEZON CITY – In an
historic first, the right to marry of the LGBTQ+ community may
finally be recognized by the State, just like all heterosexual
couples. Their clamor has reached the chambers of the highest
tribunal in the country.
Outside, dozens of gay
couples and their supporters gathered and held program in solidarity
with the petitioners who spoke in behalf of marriage equality
The Supreme Court (SC)
held today its first oral arguments on the Petition for Certiorari
filed by gay lawyer Jesus Falcis III and petitioner-intervenors
Reverend Crescencio Agbayani Jr. and his partner, Marlon Felipe and
Maria Arlyn Ibanez and partner.
The petition filed three
years ago was only scheduled by the high court last March 6.
The petition seeks the SC
to nullify Articles 1, and 2 of Executive Order 209 or the 1987
Family Code. Petitioners claim that it deprives homosexuals of their
right to due process, equal protection, and the right to decisional
and marital privacy.
Consequently, Falcis also
petitioned the SC to invalidate portions of Article 46 (4) and 55
(6) of the same Code that cited lesbianism or homosexuality as
grounds for annulment and legal separation.
They insists that these
provisions of the Family Code as unconstitutional, for defining and
limiting marriage as between man and woman contrary to Article XV of
the 1987 Constitution.
Anti-Discrimination Bill, also known as the SOGIE Equality Bill's
legislative status listed as pending for a second committee hearing
since December 2016, leaving many among the LGBTQ+ community
surprised that the petition has taken the driver seat over the
strengthened our resolve to keep on pushing what is traditionally
accepted and the legal obstacles that hinders us from being accorded
the same rights and legal protections heterosexuals enjoy and be
recognized as well for our societal contributions wherever the front
lines the struggle for equality take us," declared gender activist
and former UP student leader, Vince Liban of UP Babaylan.
Celebrities such as Boy
Abunda, Sebastian Castro, and Juan Miguel Severo have openly
endorsed the petition for marriage equality in their social media
The petition for marriage
equality may have caught the LGBTQ+ community by surprise, leaving
many skeptical on whether to support it. But for Liban, he asserted
that "this should not hinder both organized and unorganized gays
from rallying behind the petition, much more divide us. We are all
in this because the community stands to benefit from the
nullification of these backward and discriminating laws".
The program of the
supporters was highlighted by a mass wedding and renewal of vows of
LGBTQ+ couples. The ceremonies were officiated by Metropolitan
Among the organizations
present were LAGABLAB LGBT Network, Philippine Network of
Metropolitan Community Church (other LGBT affirming churches), LGBT
student organizations UP Babaylan, PUP Kasarianlan, BulSU Bahaghari,
Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan and Kaisa UP.
A candle-lighting ceremony
of rainbow themed candles followed after their program wrapped up as
they awaited the oral arguments to conclude by 8pm.
campaign was not only meant to rally support for the petition but to
heighten public awareness on the discrimination and bigotry the gay
community have endured in asserting their rights to equal protection