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Supreme Court Justice says same-sex civil union is constitutional

Supreme Court Justice says same-sex civil union is constitutional

A man in a dark suit stands at a lectern delivering a speech

In the second week of a historic hearing on same-sex marriage in the Philippines, one of Supreme Court Justices admitted civil unions were constitutional.

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio made the comments this week during a petition to legalize same-sex marriage.

The landmark hearing started last week after lawyer and LGBTI activist, Jesus Falcis III, filed a petition in 2015 to have it heard in the Supreme Court. Falcis is arguing that a ban on same-sex marriage in unconstitutional.

Carpio made his remarks during his questioning of the Philippines’ Solicitor General Jose Calida.

He asked whether same-sex civil union is based on the constitutional right to freedom of association.

Carpio questioned that if two people have the freedom to associate, they should be able to enter a civil union.

Civil union vs traditional marriage

The exchange between Carpio and Calida seemed to shift the debate. People are now asking if the LGBTI community would settle for a civil union.

‘We are very happy that there are many people in the movement who support marriage equality per se, they do not want to settle for less, but of course, as advocates, if the Supreme Court rules in favor of civil unions only, we’re also fine with that, but it doesn’t mean we will stop fighting for equality,’ Falcis said in court.

Offering civil union as a compromised could appease conservatives who want to keep marriage between a man and a woman.

The Solicitor General was also questioned by the other Chief Justices on Tuesday.

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