The Philippines would lead in terms of marriage equality should it legalize same-sex marriage, New York City-based human-advocacy group Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.
The HRW’s comments were released on the same day the Supreme Court (SC) held its first oral arguments on a petition by LGBT rights advocate Atty. Jesus M. Falcis III to legalize same-sex marriage in the country and declare unconstitutional Executive Order 209 (Family Code) of the 1987 Constitution, a first for the high court.
“If the Supreme Court rules that the provisions of the Family Code are unconstitutional and permits same-sex marriage, or the national legislature enacts a law allowing same-sex marriage, the Philippines will join Taiwan at the forefront of Asian countries with marriage equality,” said Ryan Thoreson, a researcher from the HRW’s LGBT rights division.
“Beyond the Supreme Court hearing, the recognition of same-sex partnerships has gained considerable steam in the Philippines,” Mr. Thoreson said.  — Dane Angelo Enerio