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US ruling hailed in PH

Gay pride swells, LGBTs celebrate SC upholding same-sex marriage

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If Tom and Joe can now marry anywhere in the United States, can Tomas and Jose do the same soon in the Philippines?

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community hopes it will happen here following Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court allowing gay unions throughout the nation, lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III said on Saturday.

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But “conservative elements” may get in the way, said Falcis, who has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate provisions in the Family Code that limit marriage to a man and a woman.

Falcis said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the US Supreme Court ruling would have a “strong impact” on his petition.

“I am optimistic because our Constitution’s Bill of Rights, especially the equal protection clause, is patterned after the US Constitution,” he said.

“And usually, our Supreme Court is easily persuaded to follow decisions by the US Supreme Court because we use the same standards the US uses to analyze violations of fundamental rights,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, President Barack Obama praised the ruling, saying it had “made our union a little more perfect.”

READ: Obama: Gay marriage ruling “a big step toward equality”

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Resolving a 2013 challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, five of the nine justices on the US Supreme Court voted on Friday to allow same-sex unions in all 50 states, triggering wild jubilation and tears of joy across the country.

Justice Anthony Kennedy threw in the vote that handed the narrow victory to the gay-rights movement. In his majority opinion, Kennedy wrote that the Constitution requires all 50 states to carry out and recognize marriages between people of the same sex.

Flag-waving LGBT advocates on the packed Supreme Court forecourt—some in tears—cheered, danced, shouted “USA! USA!” and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in celebration.

On Friday night, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling.

READ: US Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide

The ruling will put an end to same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still maintain them, and provide an exclamation point for breathtaking changes in social norms in the United States in recent years.

As recently as last October, just more than one-third of the 50 states permitted gay marriages.

Inspiration to PH Gay Pride

“This is an inspiration to us,” Red Macalalad, head of the march organizer Task Force Pride 2015, said, referring to the US Supreme Court ruling. “All landmark decisions are the outcomes of struggles.”

Several hundred gay men and women and transgender people in Manila held a Gay Pride rally at Rizal Park yesterday to celebrate the US Supreme Court ruling, which they said was a victory for their cause.

About 500 people marched around the park, many carrying placards and streamers saying “Fight for Love” and waving rainbow banners.

Some marchers came with pets dressed in rainbow costumes.

Jonas Bagas, executive director of the pro-LGBT rights group TLF Share, said the US Supreme Court ruling “will reverberate in other corners of the world.”

“We hope that after this decision, the struggle for equality can be reframed to go beyond marriage equality so that we can address other dehumanizing situations that LGBTs encounter,” he said.

Macalalad said a similar event could happen in the Philippines.

“It could and should happen [here]. Human rights should be enforced completely. Let us stop saying that only a few can have privileges,” he said, adding that LGBTs in the Philippines receive only “piecemeal” recognition.

Macalalad said the country’s leaders should be sensitive to changes happening in other countries. He called for the passage of the antidiscrimination bill, which he said was languishing in Congress.

He said the bill, if passed into law, would protect LGBTs against discrimination at work and other places.

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TAGS: Ang Ladlad, Barack Obama, Bill of Rights, bisexual, Catholic Church, Danton Remoto, Gay, Gay marriage, gay pride, gay rights, Lapu-Lapu, lesbian, LGBT advocates, Rizal Park, Same-sex marriage, Sylvia Estrada Claudio, transgender, US Supreme Court
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