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The Philip[email protected](thIJK*[email protected]_s=i(7([email protected]!FujP*[email protected]#Fpine Supreme Court 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 lDha$XS%_*ml8D#2W*dPYcncAj34_7AoW+Nule)yP=qu#WJQgHUegal standing to initiate the petition as well as for failing to comply with the principle of hierarchy of courts.

The court albxZ5*M+&T^[email protected])bu7-h0U&iE28N)-&eEQ-so turned down the potential lawsuit for "failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy”.

Predominantly Roman Catholic, the PhidXB-iteOFKK8C$*[email protected]!(o!+UG5Sw%Nh5PPfAjlippines does not grant LGBTI citizens equal rights.

Articles 1 and 2 of The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as between man and wom&ZZk^VlS5OdUewM#nL$&7z9!3OljkQQSc&qPIH-(8r9-uBaDa3an.

Falcis’ petition quizzed these two articles as well as articles which list homosexuality as a reason for annullfDt5W&hjLKc_E)BcgBtxFG$2C=0KDpHTyYV^T0zA)0eQ2pXnQling 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 a[email protected]+Hpl9GLdllow a 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 bkAPMS(l+$4egCPHz!ItO-p*NzwTO$$uOb*[email protected])rOUHefore it is sharpened for judicial fiat," the tribunal reportedly said.

Civil Unions

Meanwhile, the Philippines Congress is set to consider a bill that would legalidOwMy^[email protected]ze same-sex civil unions in the Southeast Asian nation.

But, the bill, which Congress faiUO5EZz=N6ZJHa!pw2d*W=SEmJ7tu*y)IQ4%[email protected]!d0dqZ!iled 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 furthe)Neii8dxAe^!621nlF!RD0lI$w!w7!f4-X!7%ylDw0X-pQT_tOr creates a secondary status for LGBTQI couples”.

LGBT rights groups have also bemoaned legislators for failing to pass much-needed anti-discri[email protected]*PhNFT5)f(!!$P+fTU#*5ct9lWzL+0N8yYSRwAUf&xmination protections.

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