GOVERNMENT lawyers remained steadfast in their opposition to the petition seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
According to Solicitor General Jose Calida, the petition should be dismissed due to lack of merit.
“Same-sex couples can live happily together but they cannot demand that the state recognize same-sex marriages because the Constitution doesn’t allow such unions,” Calida said on Tuesday, June 26, during his opening statement at the oral arguments on the same-sex marriage petition.
“The resolution of the current issue hinges on how the Constitution defines marriage…The petition is flawed. Careful examination of the petition shows it has no merit,” he added.
The petition was filed in May 2015 by lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III, who described himself in the pleading as “an open and self-identified homosexual.”
Falcis sought the nullification of some parts of the Family Code of the Philippines, specifically Articles 1 and 2, which “define and limit marriage as between man and woman.”
He claimed that the State’s charter does not provide any gender restrictions when it comes to marriage.
Calida argued that although the Constitution does not limit marriage between a man and a woman, the intent of its framers must be considered.
“Same-sex relationships was foremost on the minds of the framers [of the 1987 Constitution] when they deliberated on the meaning of family and marriage,” stressing that while there was empathy for this sector of society, “both natural law and religious values affirm that the normal family relationship is between man and woman,” he said.
“The framers intended marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It is clear that marriage has always been defined as a union between a man and a woman primarily to constitute a complete and perfect community between two heterosexual individuals and, consequently, to preserve the human race,” he added.
Calida went on to say that state is not violating anyone’s rights in imposing this limit on marital unions, pointing out that the “ultimate goal” of any marriage is procreation through natural “sexual cooperation.”
The Supreme Court ended the oral arguments on Tuesday, following around three hours of interpellations.
Both parties were instructed by acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio to submit their respective memoranda, which would wrap up their arguments on the case, and all requested documents within 30 days. n