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Supreme Court thumbs down same-sex petition

In a statement released Tuesday, the high court said the petition was dismissed due to lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III's "lack of standing, violating the principle of hierarchy of courts, and failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy."

This is despite acknowledging that the 1987 Constitution does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Falcis, an openly gay lawyer, filed the petition in October 2015, which sought to strike down the prohibitions against same-sex marriage under the Family Code.

While the high court recognized the struggles of the LGBT community, the SC decided that Congress should address matters on same-sex partnerships.

The SC en banc, through ponente Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, said "same-sex couples may morally claim that they have a right against discrimination for their choice of relationships, and that official recognition of their partnerships may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress."

The high court also held Falcis and his co-counsels Darwin Angeles, Keisha Trina Guangko and Christopher Maranan liable for indirect contempt.

In the same decision, the SC explained that "[t]o forget [the bare rudiments 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."

Upon the start of the oral arguments on the same-sex marriage petition last year, Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza told Falcis that his case was in "great peril" and that it would be dismissed as the petitioner was not trying to seek a marriage license.

In July 2018, the high court warned that Falcis would be "dealt with more severely" if he were to continue contemptuous acts in court.

This was after he was admonished for wearing improper attire during the case's preliminary conference.


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