Updated: September 04, 2019 05:55 AM GMT
A gay couple joins the annual gay pride march in Manila in June. (Photo by Basilio Sepe)
The Supreme Court in the Philippines has dismissed what it described was a "premature" petition seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.
Lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III had earlier asked the court to nullify portions of the country's Family Code, which defines marriage as "a union between a man and a woman."He also sought to nullify portions of the same law that include lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
The petition violated the principle of court hierarchy, and that the petitioner should have first filed it in a lower court, the judges ruled.While recognizing that same-sex couples have a right against discrimination, the Supreme Court said "premature petitions ... may only do more harm than good."The court said it could not rule on the petition because the lawyer who filed it did not cite any actual case of controversy, nor was he representing anyone denied a legally recognized marriage with someone of the same sex.The Supreme Court said only Congress can amend the Family Code to accommodate same-sex marriage, a highly controversial issue in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.Several Catholic bishops applauded the court's decision on Sept. 3.Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon described the petition as an "immoral plea to legalize same sex marriage in our country.""Cheers to the Supreme Court that defends the true nature of marriage as defined by our present constitution," added the prelate.
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