DESPITE the recent rejection of their application for a marriage license by the Civil Registry Office of Marikina City, gay couple Jason Masaganda and Lester Budy still remain hopeful that the day will come that Philippine state will finally recognize them and allow them to enjoy the civil rights presently accorded to heterosexual couples only.
“We had no illusion that the Civil Registry officer would grant us our application and despite our earnest wishes to be accepted and recognized like all self-respecting and loving couples, we were denied on the grounds of our sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Masaganda.
Both Masaganda, a yoga teacher and pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Marikina, an ecumenical Christian church whose congregation mostly belongs to the LGBT community, and Budy, an administrative assistant of a private company; are now looking forward to June 19, the date set by the Supreme Court for its first oral arguments on the Petition for Certiorari or the Petition for Marriage Equality.
Love will have its day in court
After three years in the docket, the petition seeking the SC to nullify Articles 1, and 2 of Executive Order 209 or the 1987 Family Code filed by openly gay lawyer Jesus Falcis III, with the Metropolitan Community Church as intervenor, will finally be heard by the high tribunal.
Aside from the nullity of the said Articles of the Family Code, Falcis also petitioned the SC to nullify portions of Article 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same Code that cited lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
The petitioners contend that the provisions in question violated Section 1, Article III and Section 3 (1) or the equal protection of the laws and Article XV which does not define and limit marriage as between a man and a woman.
The campaign to raise awareness on the issue of marriage equality, emboldens other LGBTQ+ couples to assert their rights and drum up support for the LGBTQ+ community bu launching activities to enlighten the public.
Organizers Regie Pasion of the secularist group lgbtBUS and Vince Liban, former Punong Babaylan of UP Babaylan said that fundamental proposition of the #WeAreFamilyToo campaign is that if the family is the basic unit of society, then to deny one to be part of a family is to deny them their place in society.
They assert that the pursuit of the rights of the LGBTQ+ community for them to belong as equal members of society is in line with the Petition for Marriage Equality.
“We no longer want to be treated as 2nd class citizens. We are productive and tax-paying citizens and deserve to be accorded with the same rights and legal protections afforded by marriage,” Liban declared.
“Its an imperative that the entire LGBTQ+ community to set aside differences and unite in their common goal of dignity, family and humanity. If we seek the support of our straight friends, family and supporters, the community must stand us one to end the discrimination, hate and bigotry against us,” Pasion concluded.
Meanwhile, the group has launched an online petition at change.org to gather supporters for their advocacy.