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Couples apply for first same-sex marriage licenses in Philippines

Couples apply for first same-sex marriage licenses in Philippines

Maria Arlyn Ibanez and Pastor Crescencio Agbayani .

Two gay couples in the Philippines applied for marriage licenses Monday (3 August) in a first for the Catholic-majoirty country.

Maria Arlyn Ibanez, Crescencio Agbayani and their partners tried to register their relationships at a registry office in Quezon City. But officials said marriage was between a man and a woman and would not accept their applications.

Although the outcome was expected, Agbayani, founding pastor of LGBTS Christian Church Inc, said the rejection was still ‘painful.’

‘We were denied but we will not stop,’ he wrote on his personal Facebook page.

‘We will seek help from our Supreme Court.’

Ibanez said she will still wed her partner in a symbolic ceremony later this month.

The Philippine Marriage Equality Network had encouraged gay couples across the country to apply for marry licenses on Monday, and filings were simultaneously made in the cities of Baguio, Davao and Silang.

Philippines law defines marriage as a ‘special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman,’ and any legislation to change it would likely be blocked by lawmakers allied to the church.