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The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition challenging the country's Family Code that limits marriage )BGKzi2_!3QK4emjhw!G#%8O=1B_%v+NrKsDK=QYqQwWlOS(g2to between a man and a woman.

The court unanimously dismissed Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III’s petition, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reports.

A court spokesman said judges cited a lack of legal standing to initiate the petition[email protected]%#[email protected]!rxawCIdsYIlbJij(uP8b6CNWR2XN)m3=I as well as for failing to comply with the principle of hierarchy of courts.

The court also turned down the potential lawsuit for "failing to rai-=na^*uAno#IiE+g)P6mS6nsZ&3r6$DR1_xg5XRU5$W()K0wsjse an actual, justiciable controversy”.

Predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines does noPZ9Wxl9AMsg7NT4(96Bz%De$4O^Sq-P4dK07xbeGucNnZ7jT-lt grant LGBTI citizens equal rights.

Articles 1 and 2 of The Fpw4WPoLsIBj%BspvPZC%^^%J1D&!lUgGIv=X*nsbDB$5vswUnYamily Code of the Philippines defines marriage as between man and woman.

Falcis’ petition quizzed these two arIZ-T)c$6%0siyW$FVUt_Hp&AF%n8W(hsRP!Ge-)949voM3_U=*ticles as well as articles which list homosexuality as a reason for annulling a marriage.

The coudGFHEP28EiCciNMMWp1HV%_jMsjiwvidoCS*ft_KcsSz&A+oxGrt said, according to PNA, that while the Constitution does not restrict marriage on the basis of gender, it underscored the need of formal legislation to allow a more orderly deliberation in assuring rights.

"Often public reason needs to be fv0Mo#WEoCXwR9GouhWOj8H0LTiA#9YRpI#ztBQBiErE*bhjIe1irst shaped through the crucible of campaigns and advocacies within our political forums before it is sharpened for judicial fiat," the tribunal reportedly said.

Civil Unions

Meanwhile, the Philippines Congress is set to consider a bill that would legalize($hLbcs0&#Sz92c7Jnv-a7f)hHJlzGQ(MV%sU$hJiicfszAIew same-sex civil unions in the Southeast Asian nation.

But, the bill, which Congress failed to pass in its last session, has been criticized by rights groups for failing to provide genuin[email protected]_D(&2sMO_-fG424nAPHyZJVA&9TzO&2xSAWte equality.

The bill would ensure benefits and protections granted by marriage are extended to couples in a civil partnership.
This includes adoption, owning property, court rulings, and spousal support.

But, local LGBTI group LAGABLAB earlier this year  said civil union recognition will not ‘in any way be marriage equality’.
The bill "creates a distinction between married couples and civil partners” the group told Gay Star News.

"It-Z=9g%Dj=kgDj#gQWUcDQk0!%GaWNI+!#n=!ChqAs#Wr&Qgk-0 further creates a secondary status for LGBTQI couples”.

LGBT rights groups have also bemoaned legislators for failing to pasjH4o&Ysl3jj&dvAQZX9&oYW)DCOuD=SkX(D&U5mHYJKW+S*Gcrs much-needed anti-discrimination protections.

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