Activists defiant after Philippines rejects same-sex marriage

metro manila pride philippines same-sex marriage jesus falcis
Photo: Metro Manila Pride

The Philippines’ Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed a gay man’s legal bid to allow same-sex marriage in the country.

Lead plaintiff Jesus Falcis sought to declare parts of the Family Code prohibiting same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. The legal provisions limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman. Falcis argued the law violates his constitutional guarantee of equal protection.


“I am out since the age of 15 and I suffered discrimination throughout my school years. So I felt the need to advocate for LGBT rights,” Falcis told CNN.

“I decided to use the tool of litigation, because it has been successful in other countries – such as the United States – to have gay marriage legalised.”

But the top court dismissed his case for “failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy.” The court ruled on Tuesday he could not sue the Civil Registrar General for denying LGBTIQ couples marriage licenses because he doesn’t have a partner.

Falcis explained: “I therefore can’t be considered as having suffered from the consequences of a law which bans gay marriage.”

But LGBTIQ activists in the Philippines are hopeful

However, the court found the country’s Constitution “does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Activists say this leaves the door open to another legal bid for same-sex marriage in the future. Falcis said the Philippines Supreme Court ruling was a “temporary setback.”

“In other countries from the US to Australia to Taiwan, they had to lose before they won marriage equality,” he said.

“The Philippines will be no different.”

Earlier this year, Taiwan made history by becoming the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.

Around 300 same-sex couples in Taiwan tied the knot on the first day of the new laws in May.

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