The Supreme Court (SC) is set to conduct an oral argument on the petition seeking to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines this June.
According to SC Spokesperson Theodore Te, the high court will discuss the petition on June 19, 2018.
“The petition is one for certiorari and prohibition challenging certain provisions of the Family Code on marriage where they impact on ‘same-sex’ marriages,” Te said in a press briefing on Tuesday, March 6.
In 2015, Atty. Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III filed a petition seeking to nullify several provisions under the Family Code of the Philippines that prohibit same-sex marriages.
Falcis, who identified himself as “open and self-identified homosexual,” urged the high court to particularly abolish Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code, which limits marriages between man and woman.
He also asked for the nullification of Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same law, which cites lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
Falcis argued that such provisions are unconstitutional because it deprives homosexuals of “their right to due process, equal protection, and the right to decisional and marital privacy.”
“The 1987 Constitution does not define marriage solely as between man and woman,” Falcis further argued.
In March 2016, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay sought for the dismissal of the petition, which he described as “intrinsically flawed.”
Expanded maternity leave
According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave law will also cover same-sex couples.
“The Expanded Maternity Leave Bill will indeed cover adoptive parents, especially same-sex couples who want to have children,” Hontiveros said. “This is a new member of the family, and we need to adjust—learn how to take care of him/her, let him/her get used to us as new parents.”
Under the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave law, new mothers will be given a 120 days of paid leave—of which 30 days could be transferred to their partner or close family—so they could devote time in taking care of their new born baby. Single mothers, on the other hand, will be granted 150 days of paid leave.
The Expanded Maternity Leave bill passed the Senate’s third and final reading last year. However, it still hasn’t been passed into law as the House of Representatives has yet to pass their version.
Hontiveros, who authored the bill, has decried the the current 60 days maternal leave a “serious public health risk.”