Is same-sex marriage a more important issue than divorce??

I often wonder about the twisted priorities of Philippine society. I read just now how Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista is reportedly mulling the allowing of same-sex marriage in his city.

Same sex marriage: Important issue? Or just a trending topic?

Same sex marriage: Important issue? Or just a trending topic?

Ok, so how is it that something like that takes precedence over — and garners a lot more media mileage than — a no-brainer like a decent divorce law?

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Both practices (divorce and gay marriage) are seen to be deviant concepts by our society owing to the way most Filipinos kneel to Catholic dogma every Sunday. But it seems to me that not all “deviant” practices are created equal. Divorce, I read, is legal in virtually every country in the world except the Phillippines and the Vatican City (the latter being a theocracy, go figure). Gay marriage, by contrast, continues to be a hard sell even in some of the most secular societies.

Based on that quick-and-dirty statistical analysis, we can conclude that the merits of gay marriage are far more debatable than divorce.

So why then is gay marriage seen to be — often shoved down our throats — as such an urgent “imperative”?

I know a lot of people who are wasting their lives in marriages that no longer work. Some spend hundreds of thousands of pesos to fund costly “annulments”. Who gets to laugh all the way to the bank? The lawyers and the clergy. Why then, Mr Bistek, is gay marriage a lot more important to you then?

Will gay people lead wretched lives if they live in a society where there is no law that will enable them to legalize their love on a piece of paper? I don’t think so. Meanwhile MILLIONS of people lead wretched lives in pointless marriages because it costs an arm and a leg, and virtually an entire lifetime, to get an “annulment”.

Meanwhile, many Filipino heterosexual couples harbor little hope of happiness thanks to their issue not 'trending' in social media.

Meanwhile, many Filipino heterosexual couples harbor little hope of happiness thanks to their issue not ‘trending’ in social media.

You gotta wonder what it is, REALLY, that is driving this baffling focus on this gay marriage thing. It seems to me that being an advocate of homosexual matrimony is seen by wannabe fashionistas as a trendy cause to wear on their sleeves. Oh yeah I forgot. Mayor Bistek is ex-showbiz. Duh. A guy who comes from the world of kabadingan and kalaswaan would, of course, advocate this sort of thing.

But the issue of divorce? Nah. There’s no catchy divorce-related slogan you can print on the Abercrombie shirt you are wearing to the club this Friday night.

Gay marriage? Jake, pare, there’s this cool flag you can display as your Facebook profile pic to show your solidarity with progressive thought.

Dude, blow me.

Pun intended.

64 Replies to “Is same-sex marriage a more important issue than divorce??”

  1. Bistek does not even have the power [under the law] to allow same sex marriage in his city. He’s an idiot. He would not even have become mayor if it wasn’t “Hocus PCOS”.

  2. It’s sad that some Filipinos actually cling to these dubious number one spots as achievements. #1 for no divorce! #1 for call centres! #1 for selfies! #1 most emotional country! #1 most dangerous country for Korean tourists in 2014! Hey, first place is first place, don’t knock it.

  3. Not that high ranking politicians will not find divorce useful but maybe same sex marriage will empty some of the closets. Most of us suspect the Cabinet rarely meets.

  4. Your question of whether or not one type of injustice is more important than another is a non-issue. You have presented us with a false dichotomy. It is not a matter of either one thing or another. They are both manifestations of sexism. The fact that lack of divorce allows men to leave one family and start another without paying child support is a disgrace in this supposedly “family friendly society.” Both women and gays are treated as if they are second class citizens. They are discriminated against on a daily basis and suffer abuse at the hands of straight men who hate anyone different from themselves. Nothing is being shoved down your throat. There is an almost universal consensus among civilized countries that discrimination against girls, women, and homosexuals cannot be logically justified and violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. The fact that you continue to use expressions like “kabadingan” (faggoty) shows that you continue to approve of the abuse that gays experience. I don’t think you have thought this through very clearly.

    1. How did you conclude that I “continue to approve of the abuse that gays experience” based on my use of the word “kabadingan”. How is that abusive? And, I disagree that there is any false dichotomy here. For that matter, I don’t present this as a dichotomy. I present this more as a resource management problem. Legislation costs money and time. There is only so much Congressional bandwidth to go around. Note that I use the word “priorities” in the article. Nowhere did I say it was an either-or thing. Just priorities. Which one do we prioritise as a matter of urgency.

      So maybe understand the message of the article properly and think things through carefully before you come up with your conclusions.

      1. Your use of a negative term (faggot) widely used to describe a group; as a pejorative in a different context, tends to propagate and sustain the climate of abuse that gave rise to the slur to begin with. Your description of the milieu of show biz as “faggoty” is a double edged sword that not only describes their world, but also defames gay people in general, at the same time.

        Question: As far as priorities go, why should we focus on divorce when a significant percentage of the population goes hungry every night or lives without adequate shelter? Those are more pressing problems that seem to be getting worse, despite govt. actions to fix the problems. Instead, the congress spends all its time dealing with the behavior of its own members.

        Answer: Equality and justice issues are important because people need to be educated and empowered. They need to feel that they are participants in a democracy; not just passive spectators. That includes debate on divorce and gay marriage.

        It would have been more honest for you to write a separate article on the need for divorce and another on your opposition to gay marriage. Each should be examined on its separate merits.

    2. Yeah this seems to be a common flaw in most of Kate’s articles. At best, they’re inconsequential and at worst trivial. It’s almost like reading something out of a People magazine editorial. I pretty much stopped caring to glance her writing.

      My two cents over the matter. Your heart and mind are in the right place, but the way you express them doesn’t sway me.

  5. Let me give you a personal example. I am an American male who has a long term relationship with a filipino male. I would like to get a permanent residency visa to stay in the Philippines. If my spouse were female I could get that visa (13A) and permission to work a part time job and would be able to get Phil Health. I would also qualify for survivors benefits if my spouse died. Those are discriminations that can be addressed by legalizing gay marriage. i would not want anyone to be trapped in a loveless relationship. Divorce should be legal. You have to work for that outcome. Taking cheap shots at gays won’t help you achieve that goal.

    1. Another problem this country has are women who feel that they are self entitled. She felt slighted that gay marriage is being highlighted, and that her issues are not being given light, so she takes cheap shots at gay marriage in order to push forth her agenda – she’s very self entitled.

      Had I been the writer, I would have given evidence as to the need for divorce in this country, shed light on women who are trapped in abusive relationships but cannot get out to seek a better life because they are legally and financially bound to stay with the abuser. Then I would have stressed that Filipinos only mimic the issues other countries are pushing, so they would give importance to gay marriages, when in reality, before we push for gay marriages, we have to look at the basics of marriage, and give opportunity for it to be dissolved in a manner that is more viable and less constricting. Only after we have ensured that all legal aspects of marriage, from the union to the dissolution are provided for by law, then that’s the time we seek equality for another marginalized sector in society.

      Instead this woman chose to push forth her agenda by bringing down another group’s cause.

      And that is why Filipinos are stuck in a rut. We pull other causes down to further our own.

      1. And the only reason other countries don’t fight for divorce? They already have divorce. That’s why they have all the time in world to gun for other causes. Make a timeline, and show us the logical progression that other nations took to get to the point when the LGBT now have opportunities to seek equal rights as heterosexuals. Don’t blame the LGBT for something heterosexuals still are not given access to in the Philippines, because the LGBT don’t blame the heterosexuals for not being granted the same rights they are being accorded. The LGBT are simply pushing for rights without trampling on others’ access to these rights, so why should you?

      2. @Bim,
        In my country, 1 (one) out of each 3 (three) marriages end up in a (legal) divorce. That is 33.33%. Do you really think those divorces are all caused by abusive reasons/causes? Please think again. If that would be the case then each party would think twice before entering a marriage (and maybe not even marry). No, there are other reasons/causes why a marriage ends. Most marriages end because of one party is moving on faster. Also known as “we are drifting apart”. The common grounds we first shared seem to be gone.
        Marriage itself is not an end-station. You have to keep developing yourself (as an individual).

        BTW: If I am not mistaken, the figures (for divorce) are higher in UK and USA.

  6. Gay marriage “Shoved down our throats”, and “Blow me” says it all, nice one Ms.Kate !

    Divorce is more complicated, it would involve custody battles involving poverty stricken Filipino’s that could NEVER be counted on to pay ‘court ordered’ child support, and so warrants of arrest would be in the 100’s of thousands. It would literally choke the legal system to a stand still. Thus adding millions of peso’s more debt to the already over-burdened/broke as a bad joke legal system.It would also create a nation of fugitives.But that is never spoken of, its always said that the Filipino’s ‘family values’ (that keeps families together) that is always heard as the argument AGAINST divorce, but its not really why there is no divorce in the backwards ass country.

    Gay marriage ,on the other hand, only creates court fee’s and administration costs that will add to the public coffers. The coffers that can be in turn raided by the mayor’s and various other public officials close enough to get in on the action.Expect Gay marriage to happen for ‘plus side’ monetary reason’s and NO divorce laws to be passed for the exact opposite reason.
    ITS FASHIONABLY consistent with the corrupt nature of the entire society.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I kinda had that in mind. There’s too much at stake to allow divorce in the Philippines, specially considering that the characters who make up Congress have much to be insecure about when it comes to their personal wealth. 😉

      Plus of course we all know that people who have a lot of money to spend on annulments really can’t find the motivation to consider a divorce law seriously as they can easily throw money at their marital woes under the status quo…

  7. The reason why divorce will never be allowed in the Philippines is because both the landed and financial elite will not allow it. They happen to make up most of the members of our congress and executive.To a lesser degree this has happened because of our fascist philippine catholic church.

    Divorce necessarily splits property between the ex-couple. Alimony and child support payments may also be required. These elite a-holes are so afraid that allowing legalized divorce will result in the dilution of their property holdings. I know you can have a lawyer draft up a pre-nup agreement but these elite are lazy and baka nga naman ma-in love sila (leading to not signing a pre-nup).

    Note also that the default property regime under Philippine law is absolute community of property which means essentially “what is mine is yours”. Imaging there being legalized divorce, lets say gretchen was the legal wife of tonyboy and their marriage is governed by the absolute community of property and their is no pre-nup because Gretchen insists. If the possible divorce law mandates that Tonyboy give Gretchen half his properties upon divorce, you can see how this would not be in the elite’s interest.

    BUt again the elite can protect themselves, the common people have to suffer through loveless and potentially abusive relationships.

    You would think that there should be divorce for people who have suffered prolonged domestic abuse, have spouses who have engaged in incest, and have engaged in other similar heinous acts. Again even in marriage we suffer under the stupidity of the elite and the church.

    As for gay marriage, there just is no rational reason to disallow their marriage (gays and straights should have the right to all be in a potentially unhappy, loveless union) unless of course we are a theocracy(and we kind of are) and think that it is a sin.

  8. I’ll try t-shirt slogans for divorce:

    Philippine marriage: we take till death do us part too seriously

    Philippine marriage: blood in, blood out

    Or you can have the old marriage game over t-shit print with the words “especially in the Philippines” underneath

  9. @Triple R,

    Thank god, I live in a country where I dont need to abuse my partner to get a divorce.

    All it takes, is stating “irreconcilable differences” and then the judge will sign the divorce papers. The judge’s verdict will also include a custody settlement and child support (financially).

  10. The question is, will Bistek deliver on what he promised? And the real issue for me is, when will the cost of daily living become easier so that the couples, whether hetero- or homo-, will have less to worry about?

  11. Speaking of fiscal sense, @benign0 (via GRP Shorts), good point @Flim-Flam-Man. To me though, good fiscal sense means not giving more money to the State or at least pay them very little to do minimal government jobs (police, courts, and military) – my warrants for this idea are (i) less potential for corruption and (ii) limited publicly funded State welfare pie to fight over (because we naturally have competing/contradicting values, diversity of beliefs).

    Given this principle, I find two fiscally responsible political positions for these issues:

    (1) A Freedom/Liberty position – in which the State not get involved in marriage and family matters at all. Less to zero taxes – only to enforce voluntary contracts such as between two people (regardless of gender/sexual preferences), three or more people etc. Just a contract, whatever we can come up with. This means unions, marriages (partnerships, unions, threesomes, foursomes, corporations, cooperatives, call it whatever you want) are voluntarily agreed upon by all parties, and in the same way, ‘disunions’, divorces, dissolutions etc. are also agreed upon and enforced as per contract. All insurance, welfare benefits, terms and conditions are held privately and bound by the contract. Everybody happy right? We get rid of the State welfare pie, we have nothing to fight over. Less taxes also means more money for the people to provide for themselves all kinds of private welfare benefits (insurance etc.) and so whatever adverse effects, if any, are privately resolved.

    (2) State-Interest position – If, as in our current constitution, we agree that State has compelling interest in the family as units of society, the principle applies in such a way to limit welfare (thus, less taxes) and always go for the best-case scenario for the fruits of these marriages – new citizens – children. In this view, a strong, prosperous family will not need any ‘help’ from the government, requiring limited to zero publicly funded welfare, again, the State welfare pie is limited to areas where the State has compelling interest. This means though, government will have to institute policies that foster marriages and better families – that means regulation of marriage in a traditional sense, since children (new citizens) need both a biological mother and father as a gold-standard for well-being. Regulation is about setting guidelines and enforcing rules regardless of adult consent: marriage licenses will be given out, we will not be allowed to marry our sisters/brothers/relatives, we will only be allowed to marry one person and of the complementary biological sex. Divorce though is a little more complicated, since the idea is married couples stay together maybe up until new citizens (fruits of marriages) are capable of living for themselves. The idea is not to have the exception to be the rule, though, so we’ll need research about actual divorce reasons, strengthening marriages, education about parental responsibility and good marriages.

    A very important ingredient for this principle, for both positions, is economic freedom/liberalization (currently unconstitutional) to get access to more jobs (and more choices in jobs), cheaper private education, cheaper private healthcare, insurance etc.

    I am not sure if I covered all the bases in these statements and so let me know if you have concerns about the ideas I present here. Or spot my underlying assumptions so we can discuss if these ideas are warranted or not. Thanks!

    1. @Pepe Rep: I disagree with your premise in the “State- Interest position”. The problem for me is that “gold standard for well-being” and its subsequent guidelines are are not statistically or sociologically derived; but rather are religious in nature. I also don’t like having things “shoved down by throat”, either.

      1. Effective parenting is not a gender specific role. Men can also provide the nurturing and emotional bonding that childhood needs. Women can also be strong and disciplining. Being a good parent (care giver) is not just about the right combination of genitality.

        1. Hi Sea Bee, thanks for responding. No worries. I am agreeable to either position and I think that at the bottom of it is our pooled taxpayer money, take that away, problem solved.

          On my State-interest position, yes, I do think it requires a compromise or trade-off of some sort, lest we get reduced to a “majority wins” resolution (not ideal for me, but fair enough, people vote with their feet after all).

          I do not quite agree that this is an entirely religiously-derived idea, I do think it is an on-going debate among social scientists with no clear case just yet, despite all the pomp in the media. I do agree with you that it cuts both ways, that is the nature of law and policy-making, there is always some form of morality (religious, secular, anti-religious) that informs the crafting of our laws and not everybody will agree and at worst, some rights will be trampled on.

          “Effective parenting is not a gender specific role”: Sure, to a certain extent that is correct too, but I don’t think the case is very clear based on current studies. Men and women are completely different in many fundamental ways. There are benefits, for example, to breastfeeding that even go beyond physical nutrition, such as the emotional bond of biological mother and child. Men and women simply bring to the table different and complementary sets of parental inputs to these fruits of their marriage. But again, this is a subject of a growing social scientific debate.

          Other compromise-type options would include possibly, federalism in which we can move around places within the country as per our differing social, fiscal, values. Free markets definitely allow us to celebrate our diversity as well, without stepping on each other’s toes as much as possible so that is a very important ingredient.

          We can agree with (1) Liberty position, then, I’d be very happy to do so. It would take a revamp of our current constitution (which I do not mind, because a lot of things can be solved by that too) into a one that can ensure that all our deeply-held values can be celebrated with very limited ugly compromise, along with a good economic structure that ensures choices for everyone. Thanks! 🙂

        2. U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess in his decision striking down Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban:

          “Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex,”

          “This Court finds that Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws (ban) violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment because no state interest provides excessively persuasive justification for the significant infringement of the rights that they inflicted upon homosexual individuals,”

          The Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines considers homosexuality to be a mental illness and it is grounds for denying a residence visa. Any foreign individual discovered engaging in homosexual activities can be blacklisted and asked to leave the country without the process of appeal.

          I guess whether someone considers the legalization of same-sex marriage as “urgent” or not; depends on their particular point of view. As far as it being trendy; tell that to the marriage equality activists in Alaska that have been working on this issue for decades.

        3. You replied with a judge’s opinion/decision not to uphold a voter-approved and democratically agreed upon law in the State of Alaska. Not that I entirely agree, but to give balance to my State Interest Position, I would simply offer you another judge’s opinion/decision quite the opposite of what the district judge reached:

          U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman in his decision upholding Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban:

          Feldman noted that Louisiana’s marriage law furthers two important interests: “linking children to an intact family formed by their biological parents, as specifically underscored by Justice Kennedy in Windsor” and “safeguarding that fundamental social change…is better cultivated through democratic consensus.” That is, Feldman noted the two central issues in this debate—the policy question: What is marriage, and the legal question: Who gets to define marriage. Feldman ruled that, consistent with the U.S. Constitution, citizens and their elected officials should get to define marriage, and they can define it as the union of man and woman if they choose to. In response to those who argue that there is no rational basis for such marriage laws, Feldman writes: “The Court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational.”

          Feldman cites the Supreme Court’s decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, U.S. v. Windsor, as support that Louisiana has the right to define marriage for itself. Feldman writes: “Windsor repeatedly and emphatically reaffirmed the longstanding principle that the authority to regulate the subject of domestic relations belongs to the states, subject to indistinct future constitutional guarantees that in Windsor were, by its expressed limits, left open and rather inexact.”

          When the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained, “The significance of state responsibilities for the definition and regulation of marriage dates to the Nation’s beginning.” Taking Kennedy at his word, Feldman emphasizes the basic equality of state citizens and the vital importance of democratic debate. Just as citizens are free to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships, so too are citizens free to retain the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman—as citizens in a majority of states have done. The U.S. Constitution is silent on what marriage is. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution. “It is not for this Court to resolve the wisdom of same-sex marriage. The nation is witness to a strong conversation about what is marriage.” The courts should uphold the freedom of the American people and their elected representatives to make marriage policy.

          Feldman accepts that Louisiana’s voters had a rational basis to define marriage as the union of a man and woman: “Louisiana’s laws and Constitution are directly related to achieving marriage’s historically preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents. Louisiana’s regime pays respect to the democratic process; to vigorous debate…The fact that marriage has many differing, even perhaps unproved dimensions, does not render Louisiana’s decision irrational.”

          Feldman questions where the re-definition of marriage will lead: “Must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female? All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs.”

          Don’t forget that the US Supreme Court in the 2013 U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry, did not decide along the lines of the “Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment” as Alaska District Judge Burgess here states.

          You say “the Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines considers homosexuality to be a mental illness and it is grounds for denying a residence visa. Any foreign individual discovered engaging in homosexual activities can be blacklisted and asked to leave the country without the process of appeal.” Interesting. Can you cite references for this policy? To date, I have read, Singapore still does not recognize that anal penetration (a male homosexual act) is a constitutional right, but they do distinguish from treating homosexual individuals unjustly.

          I don’t argue on urgency of any law or whether or not it is trendy, that, can also be democratically determined, that is exactly why local LGBT activist groups are free to lobby the Philippine Congress to support their cause just as much as any local group can on their advocacies (i.e. CBCP and other such religious and non-religious groups formed by Filipinos). We may not like what they are saying or their opinion about it, but it is equally their right to be heard by congress as to (1) what laws to pass and also (2) which laws are priority within the limited time that congress has.

        4. @ Pepe Rep: Thanks for your response. Personally, I feel, that if left to the tyranny of the majority and states’ rights; segregation, bans on interracial marriage, and voting statutes designed to block access to minorities would still exist. Sometimes the interference of the courts and the federal government is warranted.

    2. I certainly agree with your personal conviction that we must definitely guard against the “tyranny of the majority” (Polybus and J.S. Mill’s critique of democracy) the only principle that helps us do so is enshrined in an ultimately religious idea: The intrinsic worth of individuals (Judeo-Christian via Locke, Jefferson). Now, at each case though, we must clarify what this means and how it applies. Racial segregation, interracial marriages, same-sex marriage … Are they really equivalent cases? Do they really have the same history? Do all our acts merit constitutionally guaranteed rights? It seems that in Windsor, the US Supreme Court was reluctant to agree that this is the same as Loving v. Virginia (Interracial Marriage), otherwise, DOMA sec. 3 would’ve been struck down, not on Federalism grounds but via 14th Amendment.

      Certainly, there must be no restraint to our thoughts/expression/belief as individuals, but that does not necessarily extend to our actions/behavior, especially those that may affect our fellow citizens and future generations add to that vis-a-vis state-sponsored welfare, more complications ensue.

      What is more interesting or rather weird in the case of the United States is that the tide of appellate court opinion seems to be at odds with legislative bodies (who are tasked to represent the people) along political lines. The wisdom of legislation (against court opinion) is that it reflects the collective values of the people which simply cannot be dismissed as collectively irrational. It is not always the case, as I glean from Justice Kennedy’s Opinion on Windsor and his dissent in Hollingsworth v. Perry, of which even liberal Justice Sotomayor agrees with, that people make collectively make bad decisions and as per Judge Feldman, “safeguarding that fundamental social change…is better cultivated through democratic consensus”. There are numerous cases where the courts get it wrong and have actually undermined our liberties. Justice Alito noted that “some professors of constitutional law have argued that we are bound to accept the trial judge’s findings—including those on major philosophical questions and predictions about the future—unless they are ‘clearly erroneous…Only an arrogant legal culture that has lost all appreciation of its own limitations could take such a suggestion seriously.” Truth is not so unassailable that it can only be discovered by one individual inevitably running against the tide of every other individual.

      Thanks for the link to the 7th Circuit recent decision, I’m sorry, I don’t think this has actually refuted the State-Interest view in Indiana:

      “For Indiana, marriage is a licensing and regulatory scheme with the role and function of encouraging the optimal environment (i.e., where both biological parents are present) for raising the children that inevitably result from widespread opposite-sex intercourse… The State’s objective is…substantive: to encourage child-rearing by both biological parents in tandem, a circumstance that can arise only with opposite-sex couples, not same-sex couples…Here, traditional marriage advances the State’s interests in encouraging biological parents to raise their offspring together, and same-sex marriage does not…Married couples whose sexual relationships create babies, have the most critical parenting ‘skill’ of all: a biological and legal relationship to the child…the traditional family context is the best environment for procreating and raising children.”

      I am very interested in the decisions that will happen in the 5th and 6th Circuits too. Although, we can look at the debate in other countries also such as France, where it is already legal but the ideas against it are still floating out there. This is a very timely discussion, I suppose, and in the case of the Philippines, even though we are such a huge country, we do not seem to have the luxury of agreeing to disagree via Federalism and it is even going to be a more bitter battle due to our welfare state. 🙁

      1. Update: The 6th Circuit upholds State Interest. Read the Decision here:

        “Process and structure matter greatly in American government… Indeed, they may be the most reliable, liberty-assuring guarantees of our system of government, requiring us to take seriously the route the United States Constitution contemplates for making such a fundamental change to such a fundamental social institution.”

        Here are the concluding notes from Judge Sutton:

        “Moreover, as it turns out, legalization of same-sex marriage in the “nineteen states and the District of Columbia” mentioned by the majority was not uniformly the result of popular vote or legislative enactment. Nine states now permit same-sex marriage because of judicial decisions, both state and federal: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado (state supreme court decisions); New Jersey (state superior court decision not appealed by defendant); California (federal district court decision allowed to stand in ruling by United States Supreme Court); and Oregon and Pennsylvania (federal district court decisions not appealed by defendants). Despite the majority’s insistence that, as life-tenured judges, we should step aside and let the voters determine the future of the state constitutional provisions at issue here, those nine federal and state courts have seen no acceptable reason to do so. In addition, another 16 states have been or soon will be added to the list, by virtue of the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari review in Kitchen, Bostick, and Baskin, and the Court’s order dissolving the stay in Latta. The result has been the issuance of hundreds—perhaps thousands—of marriage licenses in the wake of those orders…”

        The US Supreme Court will have to make a ruling after all.

  12. Hi guys,

    I think I am getting quite confused here. So maybe one of you can explain me a thing or two.

    In the Philippines there is something like a “right” for annulment but no legal divorce. But at the end of the day, arent those 2 things the same? At last, both parties are eligible to re-marry, right?

    Why am I confused? It is stated that the elite wont allow divorce. But I find that strange when annulment is possible. And I am sure nobody knows yet how a “divorce” procedure will look like (in the future when it is allowed) and what the total cost will be for each party.
    When a future divorce will cost as much as an annulment today and take as much time to settle then what is the actual gain/benefit?

    I have heard figures close to PHP 100,000+ for an annulment today.

    1. People go around the no divorce law of our country; thru Church annulments of their marriage. Kris Aquino, the sister of Pnoy Aquino is a good example. She has several marriage annulment; and several marriages…

    2. Hopefully this makes sense (also this is not legal advice)

      There are several grounds for annulment under Philippine law (fraud, mentally insane, impotence).Most of these are common contract defenses (they negate the existence of a contract of marriage).

      Almost all these grounds (and this is key) have to exist the moment the partners marry. Only then can you annul a marriage. So it becomes hard to prove as you have show that a person defrauded you or was mentally unstable on the day of the marriage. Another favorite ground is psychological incapacity to contract marriage. Again you have to show that this incapacity existed at the time of the marriage. After being married for more than a couple of years, this is hard to do. The standard of proof is very high.

      Annulment is a run around on all this….a run around that exists only because the philippine justice system is, let’s say, engages in the monetizing of justice. The parties who want to have their marriage annul go through the lower regional trial court, get an annulment and (this is another key point) either MUST not appeal the annulment to the supreme court.

      If it were appealed the supreme court would take a hard look at the case, apply the higher proof standards and overturn the annulment because the parties have failed to prove that there were sufficient grounds for annulment. The Supreme Court would then say that there is no divorce in the Philippines to back up its reasoning.

      There you have it a no-divorce policy that effectively encourages the people in conjunction with the Philippine lower courts to subvert the law/engage in corruption for expediency’s sake.

      1. How can you prove “impotence” in Court? You make love to your wife infront of the Judge? Viagra is available to cure it…

        1. Hyden Toro936,

          through a medical certificate claiming the person has an erectile dysfunction.

        2. Hyden Toro936,

          I dont regard Viagra as a cure for erectile dysfunction. A person has to take Viagra every time that he wants to have sex/make love.

        1. @Robert Haighton

          Have you tried Viagra? if it does not work; try “sibuyas” (onion) and “gatas” (milk)….local remedies…

        2. Hyden Toro936,

          probably, maybe we are fighting the definition/meaning of a word. The word here is “cure”. My definition of the word cure is that the problem is gone. With using Viagra the problem is not gone. The problem is still there and is hidden by taking a medicine.

        3. oops my mistake…. impotence is more inability to reproduce (sterility) and not inability to perform sexually…so i guess sterile would be the proper ground….but i kid you not there is a Philippine Supreme Court case that says a small penis is not equivalent to being sterile…. so yes sterility and not impotence is the proper ground

    3. I see it this way. Basically, annulment is church-approved. It’s like, you can only have a “divorce” or dissolution of the marriage if the church approves it. No one else can approve it. If divorce is made legal, it means the government can dissolve marriages, taking that exclusive power away from the church. And the church (Catholic, that is) doesn’t want that.

      1. ChinoF,

        I think I am getting even more confused, probably due to lack of sufficient IQ.

        Please dont get angry at me and let me try to understand it by breaking it down to smaller pieces.

        In the Philippines, a couple can have:
        – a church wedding and/or
        – a civil wedding

        Today, if they want to break up they have only 2 options:
        – a legal seperation
        – an annulment (declaration of nullity of marriage).

        What I gather from the next mentioned website is that in both cases, the couple has to go to a court. There is no mention of the need to go to church to undo the church marriage (or even have to inform the parish/church).

        Personally, after reading that website, I must conclude that both procedures are tiresome, complicated and chaotic, especially the legal seperation looks stupid.

        In my country, I can just leave my spouse and start living somewhere else (and with somebody else). We dont need a court order/sentence to do that. This leaving (the spouse) is in most cases the first step to an offical filing of a divorce.

        1. yeah the error is assuming that things work in the Philippines the same way as they do in other countries. they don’t. the sooner one accepts this, the better. yes the Philippines is a strange and magical land.

          whether you get married civilly or at a church. all marriages in the philippines are governed by Philippine law (family code) and all go through required legal processes. so legal separation and annulment laws (found in the family code) apply to both church and civil weddings.

          people ask for catholic-church-sanctioned annulment, a process that i think involves going to the Vatican, so that they can be allowed to remarry in a catholic church. often rich couples in the philippines ask for a catholic annulment because they are medieval like that.

          again, not legal advice.

        2. Thanks Triple R,
          for the legal advice, recommendations and suggestions.

          I will think twice before marrying in the Philippines. I wont consider doing that ever (marrying in the Philippines) because I simply want options (divorce) to get out of a marriage. The Philippines dont give many options at all.

          Why are they so hung up about the word and meaning of “family” (code)?
          There are zillions of couples who dont want any off spring and couples who are unable to get any off spring.
          It seems to me, that people in the Philipines are only happy (can reach happiness) when they have a family (kids) of their own. I call that mental and emotional poverty.

    4. Robert,

      The simple answer to your question (before ‘triple r’ made it unnecessarily confusing with all manner of incidental issues) is this:

      Both divorce and annulment proceedings will allow the individuals involved to re-marry. A divorce will recognise that the marriage occurred but that the parties involved chose to dissolve the contract. Also, terms are agreed upon under which the marriage is ended. In an annulment, both parties revert to the state before they were married; i.e. it will be as if the marriage never occurred. This is an important distinction. With an annulment, neither spouse has any real legal claim on the property of the other. That means there is no real basis for financial support such as ‘alimony.’ Also, any children resulting from the marriage that ends in an annulment technically have no legal claim on the inheritance of a parent who has passed away. How could they; they aren’t legal heirs, as the position of the court is that there was no marriage. This is still highly important in a society that places a high premium on kinship ties.

      The primary opponent of divorce is the Catholic Church that still clings to the notion of a ‘Christian’ Philippines. It isn’t the political or economic elite that oppose it. Both segments of society could afford either proceeding.

      1. Robert,

        consult an attorney Robert going the cheap route and listening to us here on a blog is definitely not prudent if you have genuine legal problems. most especially since there are know-it-alls like johnny saint here.


        1. Definitely. Seek legal advice from a professional. Someone who will focus on answering your question important to you instead of launching into a litany of other details that do not really answer the original question.

          Just to clarify: spouses who have their marriage annulled will have no legal or financial obligation to one another once the disposition of their assets has been settled during the course of the annulment proceeding.

      2. Thanks Johnny Saint,

        So if there is something to inherit and if there are kids, then in case of an annulment, the kids are the losers.
        So if there is nothing to inherit and if there are kids, then in case of an annulment, there are “no losers”.

        (again) thank god (pun intended), every child in my country is legal and legitimate. Foremost the mom or dad has to “file”/report (within 1 or days after birth) those kids at City Hall of the city/town/village. The dutch (local) government doesnt care where and who the dad is and the government doesnt care if the kid is born out of wedlock. Without reporting/filing those kids officially, those kids will not be able to attend any school, not be able to vote, and not be able to get an official ID/passport, etc. And when not reported, the kids are even officially nonexistent.
        Every born person that is reported officially will get a Social Security Number.

        1. I agree with johnny saint seek legal advice you don’t want extra details or people who patently don’t know the law giving you advice.

          Per Jhohnny Saint, ESQ.:

          Also, any children resulting from the marriage that ends in an annulment technically have no legal claim on the inheritance of a parent who has passed away. How could they; they aren’t legal heirs, as the position of the court is that there was no marriage.

          Per Manila Times Article by known lawyer

          Children born prior to marriage annulment remain legitimate
          August 31, 2013 8:18 pm
          by PERSIDA ACOSTA

          Bottomline consult an attorney

  13. The Quezon City Mayor should work on the problems of his City. The Squatters, the Traffic mess, the Corrupt Police, etc…

    I am a Traditionalist in Marriage. I don’t believe in same sex marriage. Nothing can bring me joy; after a hard day’s work; than my two kids and my wife…one child on the way. A hug and a kiss from my wife, remove all my tiredness of the day…

    I have no quarrel with homosexuals; they can do what they want. As for divorce; if the marriage does not work anymore…divorce is the only option. “Kung ginugulpi na ang asawa; maghiwalay na…”

  14. Back to the topic:

    Can someone pls help in solving another issue here? In my country, a church wedding only is not considered “legal”. To make it legal, the couple has to go through a civil wedding as well.
    Couples that only went through a civil wedding dont need to go through a church wedding.

    In short, for the State/Government, people that only had a church wedding are still considered to be single (unmarried).

      1. ChinoF,

        Why is a church wedding alone not considered to be legal in my country?
        Because churches keep their own records of church weddings only and City Hall keep their records of civil weddings only. So in that way there is a gap. To close that gap, the government decided that only civil weddings are considered legal.
        If a church burns down then all the records are probably gone. And that happened a lot in the past (pls think about wars; WW2).
        And yes before the computer age started, City Hall probably also kept their records on file (written and on paper, I guess).
        And for atheists there was of course no church to go to and get married.

        I dont know what a simple churh wedding costs but a civil wedding doesnt need to cost much. A divorce is – compared to a wedding – much more expensive (compared to a wedding). Maybe they should change this, so that people will think twice before they will say “Yes, I do”.

        1. I agree. Civil wedding should be considered to be the only legal wedding in a state because not everybody are Catholic and not everybody wanted to be wed in Damaso church. You’ll be surprised to know that baptismal and roman catholic wedding certificates are considered as requirements for most Philippine government transactions. It adds confusion, bureaucracy and additional reason for the government to charge more whenever a civilian will process something. That’s how influential catholicism is and that’s how stupid most of the obsolete Philippine laws were written. It simply discriminate the third sex, muslims, protestants, and aethists.

        2. Archie,

          I was also told that to enroll kids in Kindergarten or any other (catholic) school in the Philippines, the baptismal certificate is needed (mandatory).
          Even as atheits, I can live with the fact to enroll any future kids of mine to enroll in a catholic school, but I will refuse to let my future kids be baptised. They should make that decision for themselves when they have the right age (to become a religious individual).

        3. Good point. That after all is the point of “legal.” But if one wants to get married in church, I would say that’s fine. The civil registry though should certainly be sent the record of the marriage.

        4. ChinoF,

          “But if one wants to get married in church, I would say that’s fine.”

          For me its also fine but if one is atheist or muslim and wanting to marry a catholic person its becomes quiite a circus, to marry in a church. As far as I know a church wont allow a wedding between a catholic and an atheist without the atheist first converting him/herself to catholicism.
          This conversion would be do-able (for me) but on the other hand also very hypocritical. (But thats another topic)

  15. Bistek is a politician. 2016 is near so he’s doing something that will make him favorable to the LGBT, no brainer on that matter. Though we can blame the slow process of the divorce bill on lawmakers and the influence of Roman Catholic’s so called moralist/lobbyist. Just take a look at CBCP’s stand against Reproductive Health bill that dragged it years to be approved. Everything that is against their obsolete dogmas are considered evil. Religious (but not SALN honest) congressmen and senators are pressured not to proceed with it simply because it is “immoral” in the eyes of these modern day cult eunuchs. As long as Filipinos let the Damasos and celebrities influence us, it will be impossible to decide what’s good and what’s practical for ourselves as a nation.

  16. Divorce might be important to some couples, especially those stuck in an abusive relationship. However, with hefty attorney’s fees, I guess only the middle class can afford that…

  17. Question, when did same sex marriage become legal in the USA. Answer, less than one year ago. I find it amazing that this country who wants a law to show proof of income so that a foreigner can marry a Filipino and that does not allow divorce to ever allow same sex marriage. There are three problems here. 1. Filipinos love gay men, but do not accept lesbians generally. 2. The laws here are still based on religion. 3. What is the government going to do about these couples adopting or raising children?

    1. William,
      in my country same-sex marriage is legal since 2001. So we are used to it for about 14 years now. It is estimated that 10% of the total Dutch population is homosexual. If that 10% is equally distributed then we are talking about 5% lesbian women and 5% gay men. On a total population of about 17 million, we are talking about 1.7 million homosexuals. Personally, I dont see those numbers can be ruining the so called “family-values”. And whats more important for me is that people (hetero, gay and lesbians) must be allowed to execute their human rights.

      As far as I know, its a tedious (long lasting) and expensive process for a homosexual & heterosexual couple to (legally) adopt children (in my country).

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