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SAME SEX MARRIAGE IN THE PHILIPPINES: A CALL FOR ARGUMENT
A TERM PAPER SUBMTTED TO EXILE, SOPHIA GOLDA, IN FULLFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE COMMUNICATION SKILLS 2
GLYDELLE O. LO
CHERRY JOY A. MEJOS
CLIFF EVANDER FORCADO
Since 2001 it has been possible in the Netherlands for two men or two women to marry. There are certain differences, however, between same-sex marriage and marriage between a man and a woman. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to create the possibility for two men or two women to marry. Since then, over 15,000 gay couples have married. Today, same-sex marriage is possible in nine other countries besides the Netherlands. The state of New York recently passed a law that legalizes same-sex marriages. That means gay and lesbian couples could marry, with legal protection ordinarily granted to male-female couples. NY is the latest US state that allows same-sex marriage. Also recently, we’ve seen Filipino gay and lesbian couples getting married in the Philippines, re-sparking the debate on same-sex marriage. These individuals may have undergone such a ceremony to express their love and commitment to one another. They may have done it to rekindle the debate. They may have other reasons, but it could NOT include seeking legal protection and benefits that flow from marriage. Philippine laws do not recognize and protect same-sex marriage. It doesn’t matter which religion you belong. Unlike certain matters — divorce, for instance, which is allowed for the Muslim community — the legal non-recognition of same-sex marriage applies to all groups and religions. “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.” This is part of the definition provided in Section 1 of the Family Code. The Supreme Court stated in a 2007 case that one of the most sacred social institutions is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman, referring to the institution of marriage. One of its essential requisites of marriage is the legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female. The SC also noted that allowing a change of name by reason of a sex reassignment surgery (sex change) “will allow the union of a man with another man who has undergone sex reassignment (a male-to-female post-operative transsexual)”. In our previous post Mr. Lito Basilio submits that “same-sex marriage may be allowed under exceptional circumstances. Art. 26 of the Family Code recognizes as valid in the Philippines those marriage solemnized abroad and are valid there as such, except for marriages forbidden under Art. 35(1), (4), (5) and (6) and Art. 36, 37 and 38 of the Family Code.” The argument makes sense because none of the provisions cited — Art. 35(1), (4), (5) and (6) and Art. 36, 37 and 38 of the Family Code — prohibit same-sex marriage. This might lead some couples to go abroad, perhaps New York or some other states/countries that recognize same-sex marriage, and have it recognized here in the Philippines. However, the Family Code provides in no uncertain terms that the couple must be a “man and a woman”. While a same-sex marriage is allowed in other jurisdictions, it cannot be recognized here because it is contrary to law, public order and public policy.
President Obama recently declared his support for same-sex marriage. This will undoubtably affect the results of the US elections – but exactly how, is anyone’s guess. The same-sex marriage issue has changed a lot in the US since 2004, when George Bush succesfully painted John Kerry as pro-same-sex marriage, and won the election. One effect of Obama’s declaration has hit the Romney campaign. Bill White, a prominent gay supporter of Romney, withdrew his support and demanded to...
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