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The Philippine Supreme C+D(i4$swu1qwpOQDA_5wM=eV*$^@SDbv%16i*gwL-N5$^QggDRourt on Tuesday rejected a petition challenging the country's Family Code that limits marriage to 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 le-9kL0JbP=wIb*Y5qCb7*4XNU1UT0G%M!*kkfa%9yh+4tLc!yE5gal standing to initiate the petition as well as for failing to comply with the principle of hierarchy of courts.

The court a+aCCU5jQIMRwYDrIppScQ!$5A(TWxiTCmaDQ=rT^WO^$=e8l2wlso turned down the potential lawsuit for "failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy”.

Predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines w$ic+=&0v0hAJJS)-&DRCWHL2MVgBKcvPA%ACmZVt1URv_Ong4does not grant LGBTI citizens equal rights.

Articles 1 and 2 of The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as between man and wo[email protected]*jCq%x)3(aVj8(fm7sSfd38)*-Fux%SNPX%Alman.

Falcis’ petition quizzed these two articles as well as articles which list homosexuality as a reasonp#16in2lKDS_Sn=!qdmI35hVxa([email protected]*2iSt&pp89* for annulling a marriage.

The court 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 a4Smqxh58*@L7nENoMTt^b&4p0$J64He!F6szw!lL=9QPjiH717 more orderly deliberation in assuring rights.

"Often public reason needs to be first shaped through the crucible of campaigns and advocacies within our political forums before it is sharpened f[email protected]$^Krff8ygeMEhH5iPJ1Rh0Qdor judicial fiat," the tribunal reportedly said.

Civil Unions

Meanwhile, the PhiI17He)4wwI&7)csu6wFY#[email protected]%CUMfC+aE%1koYFrC_ylippines Congress is set to consider a bill that would legalize same-sex civil unions in the Southeast Asian nation.

But, the biu%5DgtJS(4gI+2q5*[email protected]_K*Cf*G_^Mue^[email protected]ll, which Congress failed to pass in its last session, has been criticized by rights groups for failing to provide genuine 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 further creates a secondary st8UefzvP4%085NWBF=^q5%KQCGgvVCyJ4fXad6u%xiA9UVwBrt6atus for LGBTQI couples”.

LGBT rights groups have a[email protected](Xfc4YeFiWI2vAcPq^0GWvr*_%85SA14jg*lso bemoaned legislators for failing to pass much-needed anti-discrimination protections.

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