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Advocates to continue battle as SC nixes gay marriage

September 04, 2019 - Wednesday 9:09 PM by Agence France Presse

Article Banner Image Photo by Arjoy M. Ceniza

Manila | AFP | -- LGBT advocates vowed to continue its battle for equal rights as the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a landmark case to legalize gay marriage.

Danton Remoto, chair of LGBT political party Ang Ladlad, told AFP that regardless of the rejection, the community would continue its battle for equal rights.

"It simply means we have to continue advocacy for legislating an anti-discrimination bill in Congress, where we have many allies," Remoto said.

However, he acknowledged it will be difficult to pass a bill on gender equality in the Senate, whose leader has already ruled out approving such a measure.

"The great stumbling block will be the Senate, peopled by Christian fundamentalists who have forgotten that there is separation of church and state in the Philippines," he said.

In his petition before the Supreme Court, lead plaintiff Jesus Falcis had said the current law was a violation of his rights.

But in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court threw out his case primarily on technical grounds.

Government lawyers argued Falcis had never tried to get married, thus would not benefit if justices struck down the portions of the 1987 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Despite its decision, in a text released to journalists, the court noted the constitution “does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of... sexual orientation, or gender identity."

It went on to say that same-sex unions "may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress.” Agence France-Presse