Lawyer seeks Supreme Court's nod on same-sex marriage in PH

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(CNN Philippines) — Just days after Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by a solid majority, a Filipino lawyer filed before the Supreme Court (SC) a petition aimed at removing the legal obstacles preventing gay in the Philippines from enjoying the same marital right.

Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III, who identified himself as an "open and self-identified homosexual" in his petition filed last May 18, wants the court to remove provisions in the 1987 Family Code that defines and limits marriage between man and woman only.

A law graduate from the University of the Philippines and a full-time lecturer at the Far Eastern University, Falcis provided three legal arguments in his petition for certiorari.

He said the Family Code is unconstitutional because:

It deprives homosexuals the right to liberty without substantive due process of law.

It denies the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community equal protection of the laws.

It violates Sec. 3(1) Art. XV of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Falcis said these provisions repealed the 1949 Civil Code, which did not define or limit marriage between a man and a woman.

He also argued that homosexuals, just like heterosexuals, are persons that can establish and contribute to a family and can also fulfill marital obligations laid down in the Family Code.

Falcis said he filed the petition to challenge the country's "unconstitutional and oppressive laws."

"I filed the petition because the fight for equality cannot wait. The longer time passes, the longer gays are discriminated [against]," he said.

He added that gay couples are finding it hard to fight for equality because it is very costly.

Falcis believes that Filipinos are ready for same-sex marriage.

"But even if they're not ready, they don't have to be. The enjoyment of fundamental rights and liberties do not depend on the acceptance or approval of the majority," he said.

CNN Philippines' AC Nicholls contributed to this report.