SolGen Calida: Constitution does not allow same-sex marriage

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) - Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday said before the Supreme Court that the Constitution does not allow same-sex marriage.

"Same-sex couples can live happily together but they cannot demand that the state recognize same-sex marriages because the Constitution doesn't allow such unions," Calida said during his opening statement at the oral arguments on the petition seeking to allow same-sex marriage.

"The resolution of the current issue hinges on how the Constitution defines marriage...The petition is flawed. Careful examination of the petition shows it has no merit," he added.

The petition was filed by openly gay lawyer Jesus Falcis in 2015. He asked the High Court to to declare as unconstitutional Articles 1 and 2 of the 31-year-old Family Code which limit marriage to between a man and a woman.

READ: Lawyer: Constitution does not limit marriage between man and woman

"The present definition of marriage under the family code is but a reflection of the concept of marriage contemplated under the Constitution. The petitioners cannot therefore claim that the Family Code flouted the basic law of the land. Until the Constitution is changed, they have no cause to complain," Calida said.

He added although the Constitution does not limit marriage between a man and a woman, the intent of its framers must be considered.

"Intent of the framers should be given effect. Their intention may not be any clearer: Marriage is the union between and a man and a woman," Calida said.

The Solicitor General added the Constitution was guided by the history and traditions of the Philippines, which is a Catholic-dominated country.

He also said limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is a valid exercise of State police power.

Calida said the petitioners must instead lobby for a constitutional amendment redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court has terminated its oral arguments, giving the petitioners, the Office of the Solicitor General, and the intervenors 30 days to submit their memoranda.