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Good at bad news sa mga Pilipino na nais magtrabaho sa ibang bansa.

Isang panukalang batas ang inihain sa Kamara de Representantes na naglalayong madagdagan ang pondo na magagamit sa agarang pagpapauwi ng mga magigipit na overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).

Ngunit sa ilalim ng House Bill (HB) No. 6195 na inihain ni Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David, ang pondo ay manggagaling sa kontribusyon ng mismong mga Pinoy na nais makipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa.

Nakasaad sa panukalang batas na kailangan magbigay ng kontribusyon ang mga aalis na OFW ng $50 sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) na ilalaan naman sa Emergency Repatriation Fund.

“The bill intends to provide the necessary measures for the government to carry out its responsibilities to assist distressed OFWs in cases of war, epidemic, disaster or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events, and promote their general welfare,” paliwanag ng kongresista.

Aamyendahan ng panukalang batas ang Republic Act 8042 o ang Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, upang mailagay ang probisyon na nagtatakda sa mga aalis na OFW na magbigay ng $50 para sa Emergency Repatriation Fund ng OWWA.

Sa kasalukuyan, nagbibigay ng $25 OWWA contribution ang mga umaalis na OFW.

Naniniwala si Bonoan-David na hindi sapat ang kasalukuyang pondo na nakapaloob sa Emergency Repatriation Fund na nilikha sa ilalim ng RA 8042, at pinamamahalaan ng OWWA.

“There are millions of OFWs all over the world which the Philippine government is mandated to protect and safeguard under RA 8042 but it seems incapable to efficiently help distressed OFWs due to financial constraints,” paliwanag niya.

Itinatakda rin sa HB 6195 ang pagbuo ng up-to-date database at locator system, disaster preparedness at mitigation measures para sa mabilis na paglilikas sa mga OFW.

Ang mga OFW ay maaaring ilikas kapag ang lugar na kinaroroonan nila ay may digmaan, epidemiya, kalamidad, at iba pang mapanganib na sitwasyon. – RP/FRJ, GMA News

If this amendment would be approved, it would be an additional burden to millions of Overseas Filipino Workers who are already contributing so much for the Philippine Economy. We, the OFWs around the world, the one they called Modern day Heroes, are actually their Modern day Milking cows!

here is the petition page, http://www.change.org/petitions/ofws-oppose-50-additional-fee-for-owwa-repatriation-fund-stop-the-amendment-of-republic-act-8042-of-rep-ma-theresa-bonoan-david?fb_action_ids=4216423328071&fb_action_types=change-org%3Arecruit&fb_ref=__hlSfgSwrsB&fb_source=other_multiline

Better DON’T VOTE That Congresswomen this coming 2013 election.

Every money earn of every OFW they need to sacrifice their self for the sake of their family and sometimes they only low salary rate then if the bill will pass what will happen. Congresswomen are you STUPID? to create that kind of bill? try to work as OFW and then you can experience how difficult to work abroad and sometimes their boss or employer they tread them bad, you need to think 1st before creating that STUPID BILL.

How about instead you create that BILL create a a certain bill for additional taxes for SIN TAX because very filipino died because of the cigarette and instead creating that STUPID BILL create some additional project or lesser the Pork barrel. The taxes of every Filipino people and consider the taxes gain from OFW, you don’t have your salary as congresswomen in manila..

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May 29, 2012. After 44 days trial the accuse Chief Justice Renato Corona was found Guilty under Article II of Philippine Constitution. the vote of Senator judge are 20 for Guilty, 3 for not guilty and 0 for abstain

Voting 20-3, the Senate sitting as the impeachment court convicted Chief Justice Renato Corona for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Philippine Constitution.
The court ruled that Corona was guilty of Article II of the impeachment complaint: the chief magistrate did not fully disclose his assets in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

“The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, having tried Renato C. Corona, chief justice of the Supreme Court, upon three articles of impeachment charged against him by the House of Representatives, by a guilty vote of 20 senators representing at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate, has found him guilty of the charge under Article II of the said articles of impeachment,” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, presiding officer of the impeachment court, declared on the last day of the trial.

“Now therefore, be it adjudged that Renato C. Corona is hereby convicted of the charge against him in Article II of the articles of impeachment,” Enrile declared, expressing the majority verdict of the 23-man Senate.

The following senators voted to convict Corona:

  1. Edgardo Angara
  2. Alan Peter Cayetano
  3. Pia Cayetano
  4. Franklin Drilon
  5. Francis Escudero
  6. Jinggoy Estrada
  7. Teofisto Guingona III
  8. Gregorio Honasan II
  9. Panfilo Lacson
  10. Lito Lapid
  11. Loren Legarda
  12. Sergio Osmeña III
  13. Francis Pangilinan
  14. Aqulino “Koko” Pimentel III
  15. Ralph Recto
  16. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.
  17. Vicente Sotto III
  18. Antonio Trillanes IV
  19. Manuel Villar
  20. Juan Ponce Enrile
Meanwhile, the following lawmakers voted to acquit the chief justice:
  1. Joker Arroyo
  2. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
  3. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Most of the senators cited Corona’s admission that he has $2.4 million and P80 million that he did not declare in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth as their main reason for finding him guilty for an impeachable offense.

Enrile did not specify the penalty for Corona, but Marcos told reporters after the trial, “Maliwanag sa aming lahat na it will be removal from office.”

The impeachment court has formally closed the case.

According to the Constitution, “judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines.”
The verdict came at the end of a grueling five-month trial that fixated the nation, with scenes of dramatic flare-ups and surprising revelations spicing up weekday television viewing and Internet livestreaming for media watchers.
Corona’s conviction is likely to be seen as a triumph for President Benigno Aquino III, who has never fully recognized Corona’s appointment as chief justice by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a few weeks before she stepped down in 2010.
According to a Reuters report, the ruling is likely to be welcomed by investors who felt the long trial was distracting the government from addressing policy matters just when the country is seeing a resurgence of interest in its long-underperforming economy.
“The effect is clear, it will be a boost to the anti-corruption campaign of the president, it will also be a big boost to his support base,” Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms in Manila, told Reuters.
Aquino’s allies at the lower house impeached Corona in December last year by virtue of Section 3 (1), Article XI in the 1987 Constitution, which provides that the House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. A total of 188 legislators signed the articles of impeachment against Corona.
The case was immediately transmitted to the Senate, which has the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment under Section 3 (6) of the Constitution. A two-thirds vote from the Senate, in this case 16 out of its 23 members, is needed to convict any impeachable official.
The senator-judges
The defense panel had earlier asked Drilon and Angara to inhibit from the trial, citing bias and alleged conflict of interest, but both senators refused to heed the request.
Drilon, Pangilinan, Recto, and Guingona are members of the administration’s Liberal Party, which is headed by Aquino.
Osmeña and Escudero, although independent, are also known supporters of the administration. On the other hand, Trillanes owes his freedom to the President for granting him amnesty and obtained his freedom from years of detention.
Escudero, Legarda, Pimentel, Trillanes, Cayetano, and Honasan are expected to seek re-
election next year, when their terms expire.

The terms of Angara, Arroyo, Lacson, Pangilinan, and Villar are also expiring next year, but they cannot seek reelection as they are already on their second terms.

The impeachment complaint
The House of Representatives impeached Corona last December 12 for alleged graft and corruption, culpable violation of the Constitution, and betrayal of public trust.
The Articles of Impeachment were transmitted the following day to the Senate, which convened as an impeachment court on December 14.
The impeachment trial began last January 16, when the Senate began hearing evidence on
the following Articles of Impeachment:
Article I: Partiality of Corona to Mrs. Arroyo in Supreme Court decisions
Article II: Non-disclosure of properties in Corona’s SALN
Article III: Lack of probity, integrity, and independence in the FASAP vs. PAL case
Article IV: Irregularities in the issuance of the status quo ante order on the impeachment proceedings of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez
Article V: Gerrymandering in the creation of 16 new cities and the declaration of Dinagat Island as a province)
Article VI: Improper investigation of Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo’s plagiarism case
Article VII: Irregularities in the issuance of a temporary restraining order for Mrs. Arroyo during her attempt to leave the country last November
Article VIII: Failure and refusal to account for the Judiciary Development Fund and Special Allowance for the Judiciary
However, the prosecution team later decided to rest its case and drop Articles I, IV, V, VI, and VIII.
According to the Senate impeachment rules, the senators shall vote on each of the Articles of Impeachment. If the vote of two-thirds of all the members is sustained on any of the articles, then the accused shall be convicted.
Corona’s properties: From 45 to 21 to five
Much of the trial revolved around Article II, which accuses Corona of failing to publicly and properly disclose the extent of his assets in his SALN.
The prosecutors asked the Senate to subpoena members of the Corona family in connection with 45 pieces of real estate in the cities of Makati, Parañaque, Marikina, Taguig, and in Quezon City.
However, the prosecution team later denied claiming that Corona owned 45 properties, saying the figure was merely based on a list provided by the Land Registration Authority.
In the formal offer of evidence, the prosecution accused Corona of owning 21 properties, and said many of these are not declared in his SALN.
But the defense team and Corona maintained that he only owns five properties, and all are declared in his SALN. His lawyers also presented witnesses to prove that the other 15 properties have been sold or are actually owned by other people.
The ‘small lady’ and Corona’s bank accounts
The prosecution team also asked the Senate to subpoena documentary evidence in connection with Corona’s alleged undeclared dollar accounts.
They made the request after Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, one of the prosecutors, claimed that a “small lady” handed over records from the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) that supposedly showed Corona having $700,000 in deposits.
However, the manager of PSBank-Katipunan said the records were fake and did not come from them. She also revealed that Quezon City Rep. Jorge Banal, a member of the prosecution’s secretariat, had asked for her help in authenticating the same documents.
The controversy prompted PSBank to seek the help of the high court in preventing the Senate from examining the dollar accounts, citing Republic Act 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposit Act. The SC issued a temporary restraining order that the Senate voted to follow, putting a lid on Corona’s dollar records.
Ombudsman’s testimony
When the trial resumed this month after the congressional recess, the issue on the dollar accounts was revived when Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales asked the chief justice to respond to complaints from civil society groups and explain how he managed to accumulate millions of dollars despite his modest government salary.
Saying the move was part of a well-orchestrated plan to discredit Corona, defense lawyers asked the Senate to summon Morales to the witness stand. The move appears to have backfired, with Morales presenting a report from the Anti-Money Laundering Council that showed at least $10 million in transactional balances in 82 dollar accounts of Corona.
Last week, Corona branded the Ombudsman a liar when he finally took the witness stand, but he did admit having four dollar accounts containing around $2.4 million. He said the money came from dollar investments that grew over the years, and explained that he did not declare the cash in his SALN because it is covered by the secrecy clause in the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.
Corona also admitted that he has P80 million in three peso accounts, which he also did not declare because they were commingled funds from his mother and his children.
Copies of Corona’s SALNs from 2003 to 2011 showed that he only declared between P2.5 million to P3.5 million in cash assets.
summary of the evidence presented during the impeachment trial
————————————————————————————————–

Contract to buy and sell between the Corona couple and Bonifacio West Devt. Corp. and Megaworld dated Sept. 18, 2008 and notarized Oct. 16, 2008

Three official receipts from Megaworld proving payments from the Corona couple

Certification Authorizing Registration (CAR) issued by the BIR to the Corona couple on Dec. 17, 2009

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona asserted that inaccuracies in the SALN may constitute perjury, but it is not an impeachable offense or a high crime

SC chief judicial officer Araceli Bayuga

Senate Electoral Tribunal secretary Irene Guevarra,

House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal secretary Girlie Salarda

They testified about the salaries and other remuneration Corona received from 2002 to 2011. The defense sought to establish Corona’s capacity to buy properties through the more than P26 million he has earned as SC Justice so far.

CHARGE

Bonfiacio Ridge Condo

Corona did not declare in his SALNs from 2005 to 2009 a condo unit in the Bonifacio Ridge, Taguig acquired in 2005. He also did not disclose the acquisition cost and the true current fair market value of the property, and the funds used to buy it.

Prosecution Evidence

SALNs from 2005 to 2009

CCT of the condo unit

Deed of absolute sale between Fort Bonifacio Devt. Corp. and Corona’s wife Cristina notarized Oct. 14, 2005

CAR dated Nov. 16, 2005

Checks and official receipts from the Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. indicating payments from the Corona couple

Buyer’s Information Sheet (BIS) accomplished by the Corona couple on Jan. 23, 2005

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona said he did not include the acquisition cost in his SALN because this is publicly available at the Register of Deeds. He did not use the current fair market value because he personally did not know its selling price; he used the fair market value instead because it is more reliable

Noel Kintanar of the Bonifacio Development Corporation testified that the condominium unit was only “conditionally” transferred to the Coronas in January 2006 due to prolonged renovations caused by typhoons.

The defense team explained that the unit was only reflected in Corona’s 2010 SALN because no accountant assisted him in preparing the document in previous years.

CHARGE

Burgundy Plaza Condo

Corona did not declare in his SALN a parking space worth P450,000 and a P2.5-M condo unit at the One Burgundy Plaza, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City acquired in 1997. He also did not declare the true current fair market value of the property after 2002 and the funds used to buy the property.

Prosecution Evidence

SALNs from 1997 to 2002

Reservation application made by the Corona couple dated July 15, 1997

Contract to sell dated July 15, 1997

28 official receipts showing payment from the Corona couple

CCT in the name of the Corona couple

Deed of absolute sale between Burgundy Realty Corp. and the Corona couple dated Oct. 8, 2003

Acknowledgment of unit completion and acceptance dated Nov. 10, 2000 signed by Cristina on Dec. 8, 2003

CAR issued by the BIR to the Corona couple on Dec. 8, 2003

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona said he did not use the current fair market value because he personally did not know the selling price of the property; he used the fair market value instead because it is more reliable

CHARGE

The Columns Condo

Corona did not declare in his SALNs a P3.6-M condo unit at The Columns in Ayala Avenue which his wife acquired in 2004 for P3.6 M. He also did not declare the acquisition cost of the property in his 2010 SALN and the true current fair market value of the property, and the funds used to buy it.

Prosecution Evidence

SALNs from 2005 to 2009

CCT in the name of Cristina Corona

Deed of absolute sale between Community Innovations Inc. and Mrs. Corona on Oct. 1, 2004

Contract to sell between Community Innovations Inc. and Mrs. Corona on Jan. 20, 2004

Six official receipts from Community Innovations, Inc. indicating payments for the property from 2003 to 2004

Letter from Community Innovations informing Mrs. Corona that if she fails to accept the unit, it will still be deemed delivered on June 7, 2008

CAR issued by the BIR to Mrs. Corona

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona said he did not include the acquisition cost in his SALN because this is publicly available at the Register of Deeds. He did not use the current fair market value because he personally did not know its selling price; he used the fair market value instead because it is more reliable

Alveo Land customer relations head Carmina Cruz testified that the Corona couple only accepted the condominium unit in 2010 due to some defects to the property.

The Columns property manager Benz Lim also testified that the Corona couple did not formally accept the unit until 2010.

CHARGE

Property at BGC, Taguig

Corona concealed ownership of a parcel of land at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig bought for P9.2 M under the name of his daughter Charina.

Prosecution Evidence

Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) in the name of Charina Corona

CAR issued by the BIR to Mrs. Cristina Corona

Defense Evidence

CHARGE

Properties in Marikina

Corona and his wife are still the owners of seven parcels of land in Brgy. Marikina Heights, Bayanbayan, Marikina, which were not declared in Corona’s SALNs.

Prosecution Evidence

SALNs from 2002 to 2010

Seven TCTs in the name of the Corona couple

Defense Evidence

Witness Demetrio Vicente claimed he owns these parcels of land. He presented deeds of sale to support his claim, but said the land titles have not been transferred to his name due to lack of funds.

CHARGE

Properties in Diliman, QC

Corona and his wife are the owners of two parcels of land with an area of 631.6 sq. m and 513.8 sq. m in Diliman, Quezon City

Prosecution Evidence

Two TCTs in the name of the Corona couple

Defense Evidence

CHARGE

Property in La Vista, QC

Corona and his wife are the real owners of a 1,200-square meter parcel of land in La Vista, Quezon City acquired in 2003 for P11-M but supposedly sold to their daughter Carla for P18 M. They also did not have the financial capacity to acquire the property based on their income for that year. Corona also undervalued the property at P3 M in his 2004 SALN.

Prosecution Evidence

TCT and deed of absolute sale between Victor Bocaling and Cristina Corona dated Sept. 5, 2003

Supreme Court alpha list submitted to BIR indicating Corona’s income, which allegedly was insufficient to pay for the property

BIR records showing Cristina was a one-time taxpayer who had no other source of income during that time

Deed of absolute sale between Cristina and daughter Carla

TCT in the name of Carla married to Constantino Castillo III

Certification that the BIR has no records of Carla and Constantino’s ITRs except for 2008 and 2009, which showed no recorded source of income for the previous years

CAR issued by BIR to Carla for the acquisition of the P18-million property

Defense Evidence

Quezon City acting register of deeds Carlo Alcantara testified on the sale of this property to Corona’s daughter, Carla, in October 2010.

CHARGE

Property along Kalayaan Ave, QC

Corona is the real owner of a P15-M parcel of land and building located along Kalayaan Ave., Diliman, Quezon City, which is under the name of his daughter Carla and her husband Constantino Castillo III

Prosecution Evidence

Deed of absolute sale between Myrla Melad Bajar and Constantino Castillo III

BIR testimony that the Castillo couple has no financial capacity to buy the property

TCT in the name of Castillo

Defense Evidence

Quezon City acting register of deeds Carlo Alcantara testified on the sale of this property to Corona’s daughter, Carla, in March 2009.

CHARGE

Property in Cubao, QC

Corona is the real owner of a 350-sq. m property in Project 3, Cubao, Quezon City worth P10.5 M which is also in the name of the Castillo couple

Prosecution Evidence

Deed of absolute sale between Daniel Encina and Castillo

CAR for the property

TCT in the name of Castillo

Defense Evidence

Quezon City acting register of deeds Carlo Alcantara testified on the sale of this property to Corona’s daughter, Carla, in December 2003.

CHARGE

Property at Ayala Heights, QC

Corona did not declare in his SALN from 2002 to 2010 a 460-sq. m parcel of land in Ayala Heights Balara, Quezon City which he and his wife sold to spouses Rhodel and Amelia Rivera for P8 million

Prosecution Evidence

Deed of absolute sale between the Corona couple and the Rivera couple

CAR issued by the BIR on March 12, 2010 for the sale of the land to the Rivera couple

Defense Evidence

Quezon City acting register of deeds Carlo Alcantara presented the transfer certificate of title of this property to Amelia and Rhodel Rivera in March 2010.

CHARGE

Property at McKinley Hill, Taguig

Corona is the real owner of a property (Lot 1, Block 16) at the McKinley Hill project in 2008 which is under the name of his daughter Charina.

Prosecution Evidence

Deed of absolute sale dated Oct. 21, 2008 between Megaworld Corporation and Charina, who is represented by Corona as attorney-in-fact

Request for reservation and offer to purchase dated May 9, 2006 to Mrs. Corona

27 official receipts from Megaworld Corporation indicating payment from the Corona couple for the property

Deed of assignment dated Oct. 3, 2008 between the Corona couple and Charina

BIS accomplished by Corona

CAR for the property

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona maintained that the property is owned by his daughter, Charina, who is a US-based physical therapist

Land Registration Authority administrator Eulalio Diaz said the number of Corona’s alleged properties is only 21 and not 45, as originally publicized by the prosecution team using a list drawn from a computerized search of Corona-related properties provided by the LRA.

CHARGE

BGEI Loan of Corona

Cristina was never a shareholder in Basa-Guidote Enterprises, Inc. (BGEI). The company’s certificate of registration was revoked in May 26, 2003 for failure to submit reportorial requirements.

Prosecution Evidence

BGEI’s Articles of Incorporation

Certified true copy of BGEI’s Certificate of Registration

BGEI’s General Information Sheets in 1961, 1971, 1989, and 1990

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) orders dated Apr. 22, 2003 and Mar. 29, 2000, on the submission of reportorial requirements

SEC’s show-cause letters to BGEI

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Corona said the feud in his wife’s family started when his uncle-in-law Jose Maria Basa III, who is now deceased, took possession of a disputed Quezon City property. Corona said the BGEI selling price of P28,000 was low because “no one else wanted to sink in their money in such an uncertain corporation.”

QC-RTC Branch 216 clerk of court Lucita Masangkay-Cristi testified that Mrs. Corona won two libel cases she filed against her uncle, Jose Maria Basa, in 2001. The victory is said to have paved the way for Mrs. Corona to gain control of BGEI.

Court sheriff Joseph Bisnar testified that Corona’s daughter, Carina, bought 90.87% of BGEI shares for P28,000 in September 2003.

CHARGE

Shares at Palms Country Club

Corona did not disclose in his SALN shares of stock in the Palms Country Club, Inc. worth P700,000 that he and his wife had acquired from Filinvest Alabang, Inc.

Prosecution Evidence

Deed of sale of common share between Filinvest Alabang and the Corona couple

Certificate of stock to the Palms Country Club issued to Filinvest Alabang

Certificate of stock to the Palms Country Club issued to the Corona couple

Contract to sell between Filinvest Alabang and the Corona couple

Defense Evidence

CHARGE

PSBank Accounts

Corona did not disclose in his SALNs millions of pesos he owned and maintained under several Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) accounts:
– Acct. No. 089-12101195-7 containing P5,018,255.26 as of Dec. 31,2007
– Acct. No. 089-12101959-3 containing P8.5 M as of Dec. 31,2009 and P12,580,316.56 as of Dec. 31, 2010
– Acct. No. 089-12102168-1 containing P7,148,238.83 as of Dec. 31,2010

Prosecution Evidence

Customer Identification and Specimen Signature Card dated May 16, 2007 under the name Renato Coronado Corona

Bank Certification issued by PSBank dated Feb. 7, 2012

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona testified that he only had four dollar accounts as of December 2012, and the other accounts presented by Morales are already closed.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, a hostile witness, testified that Corona had at least $10 million in transactional balances in 82 accounts in five banks from April 2003 to February 2012, based on records obtained from the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

The Ombudsman observed “circuitous fund movements” and “significant transactions” during the 2004 and 2007 polls.

CHARGE

PSBank Time Deposit Accounts

Corona did not declare millions of pesos in six other PSBank time deposit accounts, three of which he closed on the day he was impeached:
– Acct. No. 089-12101195-7 (opened on May 16, 2007 with a balance of P2 M, closed on Oct. 2, 2008)
– Acct. No. 089-12101735-8 (opened on Jan. 26,2009 with a balance of P2.1 M, closed on April 16, 2009)
– Acct. No. 089-12101959-3 (opened on Dec. 22, 2009 with a balance of P8.5 M, closed on Dec. 12, 2011)
– Acct. No. 089-12102012-2 (opened on Mar. 4, 2010 with a balance of P3.7 M, closed on Apr. 23, 2010)
– Acct. No. 089-12102144-4 (opened on July 23,2010 with a balance of P7,370,438.65; closed on Sept. 1, 2011)
– Acct. No. 089-12102168-1 (opened on Sept. 1, 2010 with a balance of P7,090,099.45; closed on Dec. 12, 2011)
– Acct. No. 089-12102384-8 (opened on June 29, 2011 with a balance of P17 M, closed on Dec. 12, 2011)

Prosecution Evidence

Bank Certifications issued by PS Bank dated Feb. 10, 2012 and Feb. 14, 2012

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona testified that he only has three peso accounts which are not declared in his SALNs because these contain commingled funds from BGEI and from his mother. Some of his other accounts are now under the name of his daughter, Carla and her husband, Francis.

Rep. Risa Hontiveros, former representative

Harvey Keh, civil society leader

Emmanuel Tiu Santos, lawyer

Through these hostile witnesses the defense team sought to prove that the persons who filed the complaints on which the Ombudsman based her probe on Corona’s dollar accounts had no personal knowledge on these bank transactions, and that there is a “well-planned and orchestrated effort” to discredit Corona.

CHARGE

BPI Accounts

Corona owned Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Ayala Branch Checking Acct. No. 1445-8030-61 containing unreported bank deposits. The outstanding balances of this account per year are:
– as of Dec. 31, 2005: P149,767.36
– as of Dec. 31, 2006: P153,395.12
– as of Dec. 31, 2007: P5,069,711.18
– as of Dec. 31, 2008: P1,525,872.87
– as of Dec. 31, 2009: P678,501.83
– as of Dec. 31, 2010: P12,024,067.70

Prosecution Evidence

Bank statements issued by BPI Ayala branch

Corona’s signature card for BPI Account

Defense Evidence

Chief Justice Renato Corona said the squabble over BGEI deterred his family from acquiring properties. Instead, they have been investing in foreign exchange since the late 1960s. The money was placed in time deposits that were transferred to new accounts every time they matured to get higher interest.

He did not declare the dollar accounts in his SALNs because he believes that foreign currency deposits are confidential under Republic Act 6426.

Note: The defense panel has yet to finish presenting its evidence on Article II

Article III
Culpable violation of the Constitution in the FASAP case

CHARGE

FASAP vs PAL case

Corona allowed the Supreme Court to act on mere letters of a lawyer of Philippine Airlines, resulting in the flip-flopping of decisions on the FASAP vs. PAL case

Prosecution Evidence

SC decision on PAL labor row in favor of FASAP

Decision of the SC’s third division denying PAL’s motion for reconsideration

FASAP letter to the SC dated Nov. 24, 2009 expressing concern over its case

SC third division resolution requiring FASAP to furnish a copy of its letter to PAL

SC second division resolution denying PAL’s second motion for reconsideration with finality

Mendoza’s letters to the SC Clerk of Court dated Sept. 13, 16, 20, and 22, 2011 inquiring about the high court’s action on PAL’s second motion of reconsideration on the FASAP case

SC clerk of court’s letter to the impeachment court authenticating Mendoza’s letters

Motion to vacate the resolution in favor of FASAP filed by PAL lawyer Estelito Mendoza, which cited supposed violations of the Constitution and SC’s internal rules of court

Internal rules of court of the SC

SC en banc resolution on Oct. 4, 2011, with Corona’s participation, recalling the denial of PAL’s second motion for reconsideration

SC en banc resolution on Oct. 18, 2011 that showed Corona again inhibiting from the FASAP case

Defense Evidence

Note: The defense panel has yet to present its evidence on Article III

Article VII
Betrayal of public trust in granting a TRO in favor of Arroyo couple

CHARGE

TRO against DOJ for Arroyo couple

Corona rushed the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Department of Justice on Nov. 15, 2011 to give the Arroyo couple an opportunity to leave the country and escape prosecution for pending cases. He also promulgated a version of the SC en banc resolution that was contrary to the manner of voting of the justices.

Prosecution Evidence

Arroyos’ petition for a TRO against the DOJ’s implementation of a watch list order against her

Notices of SC en banc resolutions dated Nov. 15 and 22, 2011 granting Mrs. Arroyo’s petition for a TRO

SC resolution on the TRO against DOJ dated Nov. 15, 2011

Special Power of Attorney from the Arroyo couple

Receipt showing payment of cash bond

Portion of logbook showing date and time of release of SC Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s dissenting opinion

Dissenting opinions of SC Justices Sereno and Antonio Carpio

SC Justice Velasco’s separate opinion

SC Justice Abad’s concurring opinion

Corona’s appointment letters as SC Associate Justice and Chief Justice signed by then-President Arroyo

Supplemental Petition in the case of Arroyo vs. de Lima

CHARGE

Misleading TRO effectivity

Corona, through SC spokesman Midas Marquez, distorted the effectivity of the TRO by misleading the public into believing that the TRO was effective when it was not because Mrs. Arroyo had failed to comply with the conditions stated in the ruling before her attempted departure.

Prosecution Evidence

1. Marquez’ press briefing on Nov. 15, 2011 where he announced the SC decision on Mrs. Arroyo’s petition for TRO

2. Arroyo lawyer Ferdinand Topacio’s statement on the preparation of cash bond on Nov. 15, 2011

3. Mrs. Arroyo’s representative about to process the payment of the cash bond to SC

4. Mrs. Arroyo arrival at the airport on Nov. 15, 2011

5. Police officials’ briefing on Mrs. Arroyo’s arrest

6. Marquez interview on ANC’s Headstart aired on Nov. 16, 2011 where he supposedly said that the TRO issued in favor of Mrs. Arroyo is in full force and effect

7. Marquez’ press briefing on Nov. 21, 2011 where he reacted to allegations that he made untruthful statements regarding the TRO issued in favor of Mrs. Arroyo

Defense Evidence

—————————————————————————————————

Drama in the courtroom
For most viewers, however, the trial will be remembered for its dramatic scenes. And no doubt, many of them will feature Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, whose tirades often livened up the boring proceedings.
There was Harvey Keh of the Kaya Natin! Movement, whom she admonished for giving Enrile an envelope containing Corona’s alleged bank records from unverified and anonymous sources.
Santiago also had a run-in with Vitaliano Aguirre II, a former private prosecutor, who covered his ears in full view of the public while the senator was speaking at the trial.
And then there was the side show involving the long-running conflict between Corona’s wife Cristina and her relatives on the Basa side. The family feud came to public attention after the chief justice declared an P11-million loan from the Basa Guidote Enterprises Inc in his SALN.
Last week, the Corona family was seen on live television reconciling with the Basa in a tearful display of hugs and kisses.
But the most controversial scene in the trial was the surprising sight of Corona abruptly rising from the witness stand and walking out of the Senate session hall without the court’s permission after delivering his three-hour testimony last week.
Corona’s lawyers attributed the hasty departure to a bout of hypoglycemia, and the chief justice was brought to the Medical City after his appearance at the Senate.
Three days later, Corona returned and apologized to the Senate, and the defense team rested its case.
With a report from Reuters/RSJ/YA/KG/VS, GMA News
————————————————————————————————
THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
OF THE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


 

ARTICLE II

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES

PRINCIPLES
Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.

Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.

Section 3. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.

Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military or civil service.

Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

Section 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. 

STATE POLICIES

Section 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.

Section 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.

Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.

Section 10. The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.

Section 11. The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.

Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Section 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.

Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.

Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Section 17. The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.

Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare.

Section 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.

Section 20. The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments.

Section 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.

Section 22. The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development.

Section 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental, community-based, or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation.

Section 24. The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.

Section 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.

Section 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.


Section 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.

Section 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.


 

 

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What’s the average penis size? How fast is premature ejaculation? Exactly where is the G-spot? Grab a ruler and a stopwatch as the experts sort sex myths from the facts.
By Rob Baedeker
WebMD Feature

If there were a roll call for the founding fathers of sex myths for men, a couple of no-brainers would surely make the list: porn legend John Holmes, whose yule-log-size penis still casts a shadow over anxiety-prone males. Ditto NBA-great Wilt Chamberlain, whose claim of having slept with 20,000 women makes Don Juan look monastic.

And then there’s purveyor-of-sex-myths Walt Disney.

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“I think Walt Disney creates a lot of mythology,” says Seth Prosterman, PhD, a clinical sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in San Francisco. “In Disney movies, people fall in love and walk into the sunset, and you get this myth that intimacy is a given once you fall in love, and sexuality is natural and follows that.”

In reality, says Prosterman, “Sex is something that we learn throughout a lifetime.”

If sexuality is a continuing education, a lot of us are scrambling to make up course credits. And in a realm that’s clouded by ego, myth and advertising that preys on anxieties, getting the facts about sex can be difficult. What is the average size of the male penis? How long do most men last during intercourse? Can men have multiple orgasms? Does the G-spot exist, and if so, how do I find it?

(Need to talk to the guys about something? Check out the Men’s Health: Man-to-Man message board for straight talk.)

Penis Size: The Hard Facts

“Drastically enlarge the penis length and width to sizes previously thought impossible!” reads a website for the Penis Enlargement Patch. (One envisions a lab-coated mad scientist pouring chemicals on his own penis, then shouting “Eureka!” and phoning the Guinness Book.) Almost anyone with an email account has been deluged by spam for such miracle-growth patches and pills, and the endurance of sex myths may explain the pervasiveness of such ads.

“We equate masculinity and power with penis size,” says Ira Sharlip, MD, clinical professor of urology at the University of California at San Francisco and president of the International Society for Sexual Medicine. “Of course, there’s really no relationship.” Still, Sharlip says, “all” of his patients want to increase their penis size.

The idea that bigger is better is “not just total mythology,” says Seth Prosterman, who has counseled couples since 1984 and notes that some of the women he’s worked with do prefer a bigger penis — aesthetically or “fit-wise.” But, he adds, “For the vast majority of partners, penis size doesn’t matter.”

So what, exactly, constitutes a big penis? Let’s whip out some data:

  • The average penis size is between five and six inches. That’s for an erect penis.
  • The flaccid male organ averages around three and a half inches.

Sex Fact: We Are Not Our Penises

If you had an anxiety hiccup before you read the “erect” qualifier, consider it a metaphor for the danger of jumping to conclusions about penis size — or about the primacy of the penis altogether.

“The idea that the penis is the most important part of your body underlies so many of men’s sexual problems,” says Cory Silverberg, a sexual health educator and founding member of Come As You Are, an education-based sex store in Toronto. “One of the biggest sex myths for men is the notion that we are our penises, and that’s all that counts in terms of sex.”

“It’s a myth that using the penis is the main way to pleasure a woman,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, a sex and relationships counselor in New York City whose book She Comes First offers a guide to “female orgasms and producing them through inspired oral techniques.” In his book, Kerner cites a study that reports women reaching orgasm about 25% of the time with intercourse, compared with 81% of the time during oral sex.

OK, OK, Size Isn’t Important. But How Can I Increase My Penis Size?

Despite the facts, the din of penis-enlargement marketing only seems to grow louder. (“Realize total and absolute power and domination in bed with your partner, with your new-found penis size and sexual performance” screams the ad for the Penis Enlargement Patch.) Men keep chasing after the mythical, mammoth-sized member.

Silverberg says male clients at his store, and in his counseling work, constantly ask him about penis pumps, whose powers of elongation, he says, are a “myth,” although he adds that some men who’ve used them report satisfaction, a phenomenon he explains this way: “I think spending more time paying attention to our genitals will probably increase our sexual health.”

Just the Facts on the G-Spot

If sex myths have such power over men’s thinking about their own anatomy, they have even more sway when it comes to female partners’ bodies — especially the much-debated G-spot.

Named after a German doctor, Ernst Gräfenberg, who first wrote about an erogenous zone in the anterior vaginal wall, the G-spot was popularized by a 1982 book called … The G-spot. This region behind the pubic bone is often credited as the trigger for a vaginal (vs. clitoral) orgasm, and even a catalyst for female ejaculation.

At the same time, the G-spot is commonly derided as perpetuating the myth ensconced by Sigmund Freud — namely, that the clitoral orgasm is a “lesser” form of climax than the vaginal orgasm, which requires penile penetration. As Ian Kerner summarizes, “In Freud’s view, there were no two ways about it: If a woman couldn’t be satisfied by penetrative sex, something must be wrong with her.”

The G-spot’s existence is still debated, and whether it’s fact or fiction depends on whom you ask.

“The G-spot exists,” says Seth Prosterman. “It’s a source of powerful orgasm for a percentage of women.”

“I don’t think the G-spot exists,” says Ira Sharlip. “As urologists, we operate in that area [where the G-spot should be] and there just isn’t anything there — there’s no anatomical structure that’s there.”

Prosterman and others point out the importance of thinking of the G-spot in context — that it may be an extension of the clitoral anatomy, which extends back into the vaginal canal. Kerner writes that the G-spot may be “nothing more than the roots of the clitoris crisscrossing the urethral sponge.”

Helen O’Connell, MD, head of the neurourology and continence unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Urology in Australia, says, “The G-spot has a lot in common with Freud’s idea of vaginal orgasms. It is a sexual concept, this time anatomical, that results in confusion and has resulted in the misconception that female sexuality is extremely complex.”

In the end, whether this debated locus of pleasure is fact or fiction may not matter that much. O’Connell, who is also co-author of a 2005 Journal of Urology study on the anatomy of the clitoris, says that focusing on the G-spot to the exclusion of the rest of a woman’s body is “a bit like stimulating a guy’s testicles without touching the penis and expecting an orgasm to occur just because love is present.” She says focusing on the inside of the vagina to the exclusion of the clitoris is “unlikely to bring about orgasm. It is best to think of the clitoris, urethra, and vagina as one unit because they are intimately related.”

How Long, Part 2: How Premature Is Premature Ejaculation?

The possibilities for exploring a woman’s erogenous zones may be tremendously exciting — which leads to another source of sex myth and male anxiety: How long can I last? And how long should I be able to last?

Premature ejaculation is “the most common form of sexual dysfunction in younger men” according to Ira Sharlip, and its prevalence is around 20% to 30% in men of all ages.

The medical method of determining premature ejaculation is called “intravaginal ejaculatory latency time” (IELT), a stopwatch-timed duration measured from the beginning of vaginal penetration until ejaculation occurs. However, Sharlip adds, this quantitative measure doesn’t tell the whole story: “There are men who ejaculate within a minute but say that they don’t have premature ejaculation. And then on other end of spectrum, there are patients who are able to last for 20 minutes, and they say they do have premature ejaculation.”

In other words, the definition of “premature” may be largely in the eye (or mind) of the beholder, and depends on a man’s sexual satisfaction and his perception of his ability to control when ejaculation occurs.

If you just can’t wait for the numbers, though, a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found “a median IELT of 5.4 minutes.”

Ian Kerner says a common cutoff time used to define premature ejaculation is two minutes, but he adds that many of the men he works with “are not guys who can last a few minutes; they’re having orgasms during foreplay, or immediately upon penetrating. They have a hard time lasting past 30 seconds.”

But a quick trigger is normal, says Kerner. “Men were wired to ejaculate quickly — and stressful situations make them ejaculate even more quickly. It’s been important to the human race. If guys took an hour to ejaculate, we’d be a much smaller planet.”

Sex therapists and physicians offer a number of techniques that can help men manage their anxiety and prolong their time to ejaculation. Several drugs — like some antidepressants and topical creams  — have been prescribed by doctors to extend time to ejaculation.

And, contrary to the common perception that distraction or decreasing stimulation is the answer (slow down, think about baseball), some say that giving in to sensation can help address the issue as well. “The way to learn [to last longer] is by getting used to intense stimulation,” says Prosterman, “to increase the frequency of intercourse, and feel every sensation of being inside your partner and enjoy it.”

Come Again? The Mythical Multiple Orgasm for Men

While multiple male orgasm is possible anywhere two or more men are gathered and talking, actual male multiple orgasm is another story. Unlike the more established phenomenon of female multiple orgasm, men’s claims of successive climaxes can stray into the realm of sex myth. At the very least, male multiple orgasm is difficult to verify and may depend on the definition of orgasm.

Prosterman says that the book The Multi-Orgasmic Man popularized “an Eastern meditative process that involves wrapping the PC [pubococcygeus] muscle around the prostate. There’s a valve on the prostate that switches on and off before urination and ejaculation. The PC muscle stops this valve from opening, allowing an orgasm without ejaculation. The idea is to keep doing that five or six times in a row.

“Out of hundreds of guys I know who’ve tried this,” says Prosterman, “I know only one who’s been able to do it.”

Is this man Mr. Lucky, or just prone to poetic license?

A 1989 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior recorded the testimony of 21 other men who claimed to be multi-orgasmic, but Ira Sharlip says “that doesn’t happen,” referring to the phenomenon of “multiple orgasms in succession over a short period of time — like minutes.” And there’s no such thing as separating ejaculation and

Orgasm or Orgasm-esque?

What may be at issue here is the definition of orgasm — which, according to a 2001 Clinical Psychology Review article, has been strikingly inconsistent. “Many definitions of orgasm “depict orgasm quantitatively as a ‘peak’ state that may not differentiate orgasm adequately from a high state of sexual arousal,” the study’s authors wrote.

In other words, those men who report multiple orgasms may be able to achieve orgasm-esque states before they hit the point of ejaculatory no-return. And many men report that strengthening the PC muscles through Kegel exercises allows them to edge closer to this “point of inevitability” without cresting the mountaintop of ejaculation and descending into the gentle valley of the flaccid and the “refractory” period, where the penis is temporarily unresponsive to sexual stimulation.

This refractory period — commonly 30 minutes or more — is an unfortunate reality. While you’re “waiting,” spending that time caressing, kissing, massaging, and nuzzling isn’t so bad. If you are trying to have a second round because your partner wants it, keep sex toys in mind.

And if that recovery period isn’t super quick, you can still enjoy multiple orgasms — you may just need to cancel your afternoon appointments.

Sex Fact: It’s Not Always about the Numbers

In the end, there seems to be a recurring theme in moving beyond sex myths: Don’t get too hung up on the numbers.

So often the key to sexual satisfaction is not about penis size, stamina records, or a technical isolation of the G-spot. Rather, it’s about understanding yourself and your partner’s desires and recognizing that, unlike those Disney characters, real people aren’t born with a perfect, divinely granted understanding of sex.

As O’Connell remarks on the perils of over-privileging of the G-spot, “It is best for partners to explore the precise areas that turn someone on and how a partner likes to be given pleasure. That applies to both men and women, and the idea that there is any consistent ‘magic spot’ in either sex is just tyrannical.”

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The status of same-sex marriage changes frequently as legislation and legal action takes place around the world. Summarized in this article are the current trends and consensus of political authorities and religions throughout the world.

Civil recognition

The Netherlands in 2001 was the first country to legalize same-sex marriages, with the first marriages performed in the Amsterdam city hall on 1 April 2001. Since then, same-sex marriages have been performed legally by Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2003 – in some provinces; 2005 – nationally), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010).

In the United States, same-sex marriages are performed in its federal district, the District of Columbia (2010), and in six states: Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (for 4 hours in 2007 and from 2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2010), and New York (2011). A 1996 law prevents the U.S. federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, but this law is under challenge in the courts and was recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court in Massachusetts. This ruling is currently under a stay, but if the stay is lifted, same-sex marriages in Massachusetts would be afforded both state and federal recognition. If the case is affirmed on appeal, it could be applied regionally in the U.S. or, if affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, nationwide.

In Mexico, same-sex marriages are only performed in Mexico City (2010),but same-sex marriages are legally recognized throughout the country.

Africa

South Africa

In December 2005, in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled unanimously that it was unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from marrying when marriage was permitted for opposite-sex couples, and gave Parliament one year to “correct the defect” in the law. If Parliament did not act, words would be “read in” to the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriages. In November 2006 Parliament passed the Civil Union Act, under which same-sex and opposite-sex couples may contract unions. A union under the Civil Union Act may, at the choice of the spouses, be called either a marriage or a civil partnership; whichever name is chosen, the legal effect is identical to that of a traditional marriage under the Marriage Act.

Asia

Nepal

Nepal’s highest court, in November 2008, issued final judgment on matters related to LGBT rights. Based on its recommendation the government will introduce a same-sex marriage bill. Same-sex marriage and protection for sexual minorities will be included in the new Nepalese constitution currently being drafted.

China

The National People’s Congress, legislature of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), proposed legislation allowing same-sex marriages in 2003. During the course of the debate, the proposal failed to garner the 30 votes needed for a placement on the agenda. Same-sex marriage supporters have vowed to keep pressing for its passage in the PRC.

Hong Kong and Macau

Same sex marriage is not legal in Hong Kong nor Macau. In Hong Kong changes to the Domestic Violence Law in 2009 may pave the way for future changes

Japan

Article 24 of the Japanese constitution states that “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.” The purpose of the clause was to counter previous feudal arrangement where the father or husband was legally recognized as the head of the household. However, the new constitution had the unintended consequence of defining the marriage as union of “both sexes”, i.e. man and women.[citation needed] However, on 27 March 2009, it was reported that Japan has given the green light for its nationals to marry same-sex foreign partners in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, a justice ministry official said. Japan does not allow same-sex marriages domestically and has so far also refused to issue a key document required for citizens to wed overseas if the applicant’s intended spouse was of the same gender. Under the change, the justice ministry has told local authorities to issue the key certificate—which states a person is single and of legal age—for those who want to enter same-sex marriages.

Taiwan

In 2003, the government of the Republic of China, (ROC, Taiwan) led by the Presidential office, proposed legislation granting marriages to same-sex couples under the Human Rights Basic Law.[citation needed] However, it faced opposition among cabinet members and has not proceeded. ROC does not have any form of same-sex unions.

South Korea

On 30 July 2004, the Democratic Labor Party of South Korea filed a formal complaint against the Incheon District Court’s decision to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages. The complaint was filed on the grounds that the decision is unconstitutional, because neither the Constitution nor civil law define marriage as being between a man and a woman (the only mentioned requisite is age of majority) and that the Constitution explicitly forbids discrimination “pertaining to all political, economic, social, or cultural aspects of life of an individual.” The Committee also claimed that refusal to recognize same-sex marriages constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation and a refusal to provide equal protection under the law.

Philippines

The New People’s Army of the Philippines conducted the country’s first same-sex marriage in 2005. However it was not recognized by the government. Within the government there has been some debate on the issue of same-sex unions. The Roman Catholic Church stands in fierce opposition to any such unions. But since 1991 the Metropolitan Community Church Philippines has been conducting Same Sex Holy Unions in the Philippines. As of 2010, the issue of same-sex marriage is not “under consideration” in the Philippines. The only thing under consideration is a possible ban on same-sex marriage, including refusal to recognize marriages performed overseas. No political party has placed gay rights on its platform aside from Akbayan, a small party with only one representative in Congress.

Cambodia

The King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, announced in 2004 that he supports legislation extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. However, since his proclamation no effort has been made to legislate for them.

In an exceptional case, a marriage between a lesbian couple was legally and religiously solemnized in 1995 in Kandal Province

Israel

Marriages in Israel are performed under the authority of the religious authorities to which the couple belong. For Jewish couples the responsible religious authority is the orthodox Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The Rabbinate does not permit same-sex marriages. However, on 21 November 2006 the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that five same-sex Israeli couples who had married in Canada were entitled to have their marriages registered in Israel

Europe

Main article: LGBT rights in Europe

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe

  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to man and woman

Same-sex civil marriages are legally recognized nationwide in the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Portugal and Iceland. In a number of other European countries, same-sex civil unions give similar rights to marriage.

A poll conducted by EOS Gallup Europe in 2003 found that 57 percent of the population in the then 15-member European Union support same-sex marriage. The support among the member states who joined in 2004 is lower (around 28 percent), meaning that 53 percent of citizens in the 25-member EU support legalizing same-sex marriage.[13]

Albania

Albania’s government announced its intention the bill allowing same-sex marriage. However, the bill was never presented.

Belgium

On 30 January 2003, Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriage, with some restrictions[vague].

Czech Republic

On 15 March 2006, the parliament of the Czech Republic voted to override a presidential veto and allow same-sex partnerships to be recognized by law, effective 1 July 2006, granting registered couples inheritance and health care rights similar to married couples. The legislation did not grant adoption rights. The parliament had previously rejected similar legislation four times.[14][15]

France

In May 2004, the largest opposition party in France, the French Socialist Party, announced its support for same-sex marriage. A 2004 poll by ELLE found that 64% of those polled in France supported same-sex marriage and 49% supported adoption by same-sex couples.[16]

Germany

In Germany there is a legal recognition of same-sex couples. Registered life partnerships (Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft) (effectively, a form of civil union) have been instituted since 2001, giving same-sex couples rights and obligations in areas such as inheritance, health insurance, immigration, name change, and maintenance (alimony and child support). In 2004, this act was amended to include adoption rights (stepchild adoption only) and to reform previously cumbersome dissolution procedures with regard to division of property and alimony.

Later that year, the Social Democratic Party, one of the oldest and largest political parties in Germany, and the Alliance ’90/The Greens (a political party founded in the 1970s, based on progressive social movements in Germany) proposed allowing same-sex marriage.

In June, 2011, the Senate of Hamburg, following CDU/CSU losses in state elections around the country, announced its intention to introduce a same-sex marriage bill in the Bundesrat, the federal representation of the German states.

Greece

Greek law on civil marriage does not explicitly specify that the couple should be a female and a male. In spring 2008, the Minister of Justice announced that a bill was to be introduced to Parliament in order to regulate civil partnerships, but refused to include provisions for same-sex couples in the bill. On 3 June 2008 the mayor of Tilos Island performed two same-sex civil weddings, one of a female and one of a male couple. This created a flurry of reactions, both positive and negative. The chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court declared that the weddings have no basis in law and initiated judicial action against the mayor, the Minister of Justice concurring. Many clerics declared their opposition, but the spokesman of the Primate of the Church of Greece said that people who marry “outside the church … can do what they want”. Most opposition parties declared their support both for same-sex civil marriage or partnership and for the mayor’s actions. The newlyweds indicated that they intend to pursue the matter in the courts and, if not vindicated, to the European Court of Human Rights.

Hungary

Unregistered cohabitation has been recognized since 1996. It applies to any couple living together in an economic and sexual relationship (common-law marriage), including same-sex couples. No official registration is required. The law gives some specified rights and benefits to two persons living together. These rights and benefits are not automatically given – they must be applied for to the social department of the local government in each case. An amendment was made to the Civil Code: “Partners – if not stipulated otherwise by law – are two people living in an emotional and economic community in the same household without being married.” Widow-pension is possible, partners cannot be heirs by law (without the need for a will), but can be designated as testamentary heirs.

The Hungarian Parliament on 21 April 2009 passed legislation by a vote of 199–159, called the Relationship Registory Act 2009 which allows same-sex couples to register their relationships so they can access the same rights, benefits and entitlements as opposite-sex couples (except for the right to marriage, adoption, IVF, surrogacy, taking a surname or become the legal guardian of their partner’s child). The legislation does not allow opposite-sex couples to register their relationships (out of fear that there might be duplication under the law). The law will come into force from 1 July 2009.[17]

Iceland

On 11 June 2010, a law was passed to make same-sex marriage legal in Iceland. The law took effect on 27 June 2010.[18]

Ireland

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 was first debated in Dáil Éireann on 3 December 2009. It passed in Dáil Éireann without a vote on 1 July 2010 due to all parties supporting the bill. The bill passed in Seanad Éireann on 8 July 2010 with a vote of 48–4. It was signed by the President of Ireland on 19 July 2010.

The law took effect on the 1st January, 2011.[19] It grants many rights to same-sex couples through civil partnerships but does not recognise both civil partners as the guardians of a child being raised by the couple. Irish law allows married couples and individuals to apply to adopt and allows gay couples to foster. The Act also gives new protections to cohabitating couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex. The Irish Government’s forward programme for 2011 to 2016 includes plans to legalise same sex marriage.[20]

Latvia

In December 2005, the Latvian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga signed the amendment shortly afterward, making Latvia the third (after Poland and Lithuania) member state of the European Union to constitutionally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.[21]

Netherlands

The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages on 1 April 2001.

Norway

Same-sex marriage is legal in Norway. The Norwegian government proposed a gender-neutral marriage law on 14 March 2008, that would give gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including church weddings, adoption and assisted pregnancies. On 29 May 2008, the Associated Press reported that two Norwegian Opposition parties came out in favor of the new bill, assuring the bill’s passage when the vote was held on 11 June. Prior to this, there were some disagreements with members of the three-party governing coalition on whether the bill had enough votes to pass. With this, it became almost certain that the bill would pass.[22]

The first hearings and the vote were held, and passed, on 11 June 2008. 84 votes for and 41 against. This also specified that when a woman who is married to another woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination, the partner would have all the rights of parenthood “from the moment of conception” – the law became effective from 1 January 2009.[23]

Norway was also the second country to legalize registered partnerships, doing so in 1993. Since 1 January 2009, all registered partnerships[citation needed] from 1993–2008 were upon request by the couples upgraded to marriage status.

Portugal

On March 2001, the Socialist government of then Prime Minister António Guterres introduced legislation that would extend to same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples living in a de facto union for more than two years. This, effectively provides same-sex couples with the possibility to register their partnership as a Civil Union.

Same-sex marriage has been the source of debate since on February 2006 a lesbian couple were denied a marriage license. They have taken their case to court based on the ban to discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation as stipulated by the 1976 constitution. Prime Minister José Sócrates of the Socialist Party was reelected on September 2009 and included same-sex marriage in his party program. There is now a majority of the left in the Parliament, with all the left parties in favor of same-sex marriage. A bill that recognizes same-sex marriage was proposed by the government and approved by parliament on 8 January 2010.[24] Portugal’s parliament rejected proposals to allow homosexual couples to adopt.[25] The Portuguese President did ratify the bill on 17 May 2010. The law became effective on 5 June 2010, after publication in the official gazette, on 31 May. The first marriage was celebrated on 7 June 2010 between Teresa Pires and Helena Paixão, the same lesbian couple that was denied a marriage licence in 2006.

Slovenia

In July 2006, Slovenia became the first former Yugoslav country to recognize domestic partnerships nationwide.[26] In December 2009 the Slovenian government approved a new Family Code, which includes same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. The bill has been sent to Parliament to vote on the matter.

Spain

Spain became the third country in the world (after the Netherlands and Belgium) to legalize same-sex marriage. After being elected in June 2004, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero restated his pre-election pledge to push for legalization of same-sex marriage.[27] On 1 October 2004, the Spanish Government approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, including adoption rights. The bill received full parliamentary approval on 30 June 2005 and passed into law on 2 July, becoming fully legal on 3 July. Polls suggest that 62% to 66% of Spain supports same-sex marriage.[28]

Sweden

Following a bill introduced jointly by six of the seven parties in the Riksdag, a gender-neutral marriage law was adopted on 1 April 2009.[29] It came into force on 1 May, replacing the old legislation on so-called registered partnerships.[30] On 22 October, the assembly of the Church of Sweden (which is no longer officially the national church but whose assent was needed for the new practice to work smoothly within its ranks) voted strongly in favor of giving its blessing.[31]

Turkey

Main article: LGBT rights in Turkey

Although same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Turkey since 1858, there is no recognition of same-sex relationships in Turkey.

United Kingdom

On 18 November 2004 the United Kingdom Parliament passed the Civil Partnership Act, which came into force in December 2005 and allows same-sex couples in England and Wales to register their partnership. The government stressed during the passage of the bill that it is not same-sex marriage, and some gay activists have criticized the act for not using the terminology of marriage. However, the rights and duties of partners under this legislation are exactly the same as for married couples. An amendment proposing similar rights for family members living together was rejected. The press is widely referring to these unions as “gay marriage.”.[32] The UK government are currently consulting on Same-Sex Civil Marriage, but have stated their putative intention to introduce enabling legislation to Parliament.[33]

In Scotland, which is a separate legal jurisdiction, the devolved Scottish Parliament also introduced Civil Partnerships, and is also currently consulting on the issue of same-sex marriage.

North America

North America, from Mexico north

  Same-sex marriage1
  Only foreign same-sex marriages recognized
  Other type of partnership1
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Unrecognized or unknown
  No recognition, issue under consideration
  No recognition, same-sex marriage banned
  No recognition, marriage and civil unions banned

1May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have not entered into effect yet.

Canada

In Canada between 2003 and 2005, court rulings in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Yukon ruled the prohibition of same-sex marriage to be contrary to the Charter of Rights, thus legalizing it in those jurisdictions (which covered 90% of the population). In response to these rulings, the governing Liberal party minority government introduced legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. On 20 July 2005, the Canadian Parliament passed the Civil Marriage Act, defining marriage nationwide as “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.” This was challenged on 7 December 2006 by a motion tabled by the newly elected Conservative party, asking the government to introduce amendments to the Marriage Act to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples; it was defeated in the House of Commons by a vote of 175 to 123.

Canada does not have a residency requirement for marriage; consequently, many foreign couples have gone to Canada to marry, regardless of whether that marriage will be recognized in their home country. In fact, in some cases, a Canadian marriage has provided the basis for a challenge to the laws of another country, with cases in Ireland and Israel.

As of 11 November 2004, the Canadian federal government’s immigration department, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), considers same-sex marriages performed in Canada valid for the purposes of sponsoring a spouse to immigrate.[34] Canadian immigration authorities previously considered long-term, same-sex relationships to be equivalent to similar heterosexual relationships as grounds for sponsorship.[citation needed]

Mexico

On 9 November 2006, Mexico City’s unicameral Legislative Assembly passed and approved (43–17) a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions, under the name Ley de Sociedades de Convivencia (Law for Co-existence Partnerships), which became effective in 16 March 2007.[35] The law recognizes property and inheritance rights to same-sex couples. On 11 January 2007, the northern state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, passed a similar bill (20–13), under the name Pacto Civil de Solidaridad (Civil Pact of Solidarity).[36] Unlike Mexico City’s law, once same-sex couples have registered in Coahuila, the state protects their rights no matter where they live in the country.[36] Twenty days after the law had passed, the country’s first same-sex civil union took place in Saltillo, Coahuila.[37]

On 21 December 2009, Mexico City’s Legislative Assembly legalized (39–20) same-sex marriages and adoption by same-sex couples.[38] Eight days later, the law was enacted and became effective in March 2010.[39] In January 2010, in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, a same-sex marriage bill has been proposed.[40] In southeastern Tabasco, the state’s largest political parties, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), have announced their support for same-sex marriage in the 2010 agenda.[41] In the western state of Michoacán, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has announced it will propose bills concerning civil unions, same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in 2010.[42] In neighboring Colima, governor Mario Anguiano Moreno has agreed to discuss the legalization of civil unions and adoption by same-sex couples.[43]

Costa Rica

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5–2 decision that it was not required by the constitution to recognize same-sex couples in family law.[44] Legal recognition of same-sex unions has been considered by the Legislative Assembly.[45]

United States

Wikinews has related news: Interview with gay marriage movement founder Evan Wolfson

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in the United States

  Same-sex marriage1
  Unions granting rights similar to marriage1,2
  Legislation granting limited/enumerated rights1
  Same-sex marriages performed elsewhere recognized1
  No specific prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriages or unions
  Statute bans same-sex marriage
  Constitution bans same-sex marriage2
  Constitution bans same-sex marriage and some or all other kinds of same-sex unions

1May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have not entered into effect yet.
2Same-sex marriage laws in California are complicated; please see the article on same-sex marriage in California.

Marriage laws in the United States are governed by the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Consequently, recognition of same-sex marriages differs from state to state. As of February 2012, 42% of Americans currently live in 21 states with various forms of legal same-sex partnerships (full marriage, civil union or domestic partnership). The other 29 states have either banned such recognitions by law, by their state constitution, or by both. This number changes year to year, however. In 2012, for instance, lawmakers, judges, and voters in 16 states will decide to allow, or ban, various forms of marriage equality. [46]

Six U.S. states and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) now perform legal same-sex marriages: Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2010), Washington D.C. (2010), and New York (2011). Two additional states have passed laws allowing for legal same-sex marriage, but are not yet enforced. The legislature of Washington State legalized same-sex marriage in February 2012, but the law will not go into effect for several months. If opponents can gather sufficient petition signatures by June, the outcome will be decided by a referendum at the November 2012 election.[47] Similarly, the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate passed legislation that is currently in front of the Governor, who has stated it will be signed into law. This too will be stayed pending signature collection for a voter referendum in November. [48]

In 2005, California became the first state to pass a bill authorizing same-sex marriages without a court order, but this bill was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2008, the Supreme Court of California overturned a law banning same-sex marriages that had been passed by a voter initiative in 2000 (Proposition 22).[49] The legal effect of the court ruling was curtailed by another voter initiative called Proposition 8 later that year.[50] Proposition 8 was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 2009, holding that same-sex couples have all the rights of heterosexual couples, except the right to the “designation” of marriage.[51] But the court also ruled that marriages performed after its 2008 decision and before the passage of Proposition 8 remained legally valid. Attempts to overturn Proposition 8 by another voter initiative immediately followed the court’s ruling.

The case was eventually appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 7, 2012, in a 2–1 decision, the court affirmed Judge Walker’s decision declaring the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional (see Prop 8 Ruling).[52] The panel continued a stay on the ruling, however, barring any marriages from taking place pending further appeals.[53]. On February 22, the case was appealed to the 9th circuit again to have a full hearing on the matter.

Federal recognition

Although marriage laws are the province of state law in the U.S., after the Hawaii State Supreme Court became the first U.S. state supreme court to rule that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples was discriminatory in 1993, the U.S. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. (Hawaii passed a constitutional amendment in 1998 that allowed the legislature to overturn the court’s 1993 decision.)

DOMA defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and its purpose was to enable states to deny recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states.[54] During his political campaign, President Barack Obama vowed to overturn DOMA, and gay-rights groups have pressured Obama to come through on his promise. Because of DOMA, same-sex couples who marry in states that grant legal recognition are denied federal rights that attach to marriage, such as the right to petition a spouse to immigrate to the U.S.

On 3 March 2009, GLAD filed a suit challenging DOMA in Federal District Court in Boston, Massachusetts on behalf of eight married couples and three surviving spouses from Massachusetts who have been denied federal legal protections available to spouses.[55][56][57] On 9 March 2009, Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer filed a lawsuit challenging both DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional under U.S. federal law in Federal District Court in Santa Ana, California.[58]

On 8 July 2010, Judge Joseph Tauro of the District Court of Massachusetts held that the denial of federal rights and benefits to lawfully married Massachusetts same-sex couples under the DOMA is unconstitutional, under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[1][2] This ruling is currently under a stay, but would affect residents residing within the federal district that covers Massachusetts if the stay is lifted. If this decision is appealed and affirmed, the ruling could apply elsewhere in the U.S. For now, no act or agency of the federal government—except within the state of Massachusetts if the stay is lifted—may recognize same-sex marriage. The federal court case on California’s Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, could also have an effect on DOMA.[59]

On 23 February 2011, the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and President Obama instructed the Justice Department to do the same. The decision was made in response to two court challenges that were filed in a judicial jurisdiction with no established precedent for evaluating claims of discrimination against gay people.

Legal recognition of same-sex unions without marriage

Several other states offer alternative legal certifications that recognize same-sex relationships. Before states enacted these laws, U.S. cities began offering recognition of these unions. These laws bestow marriage-like rights to these couples, and are referred to as civil unions, domestic partnerships, or reciprocal beneficiaries depending on the state. The extent to which these unions resemble marriage varies by state and several states have enhanced the rights afforded to them over time. The U.S. jurisdictions that use these forms of same-sex union recognition instead of marriage are: Hawaii (1997), California (1999), Maine (2004), New Jersey (2007), Washington (2007), Oregon (2008), Maryland (2008), Colorado (2009), Wisconsin (2009), Nevada (2009), Illinois (2011), Rhode Island (2011), and Delaware (2012).

States with constitutional or statutory bans on same-sex marriage or union recognition

Constitutional amendments in 29 states explicitly bar the recognition of same-sex marriages,[60] and 18 of these states prohibit the legal recognition of any same-sex union. Another 14 states have legal statutes that define “marriage” as a union of two persons of the opposite sex.

An attempt to ban same-sex marriages and any other legal recognition of same-sex couples in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico failed in 2008. Puerto Rico already banned same-sex marriage by statute.[61]

States with neither bans on same-sex marriage nor legal recognition

There are two states that have no explicit bans against same-sex marriages nor laws that enable their legal recognition:

  • Maryland: A full marriage equality bill passed the House of Delegates and Senate in early February 2012, and is expected to be signed by Governor O’Malley. this law will not go into effect until voters have a change to collect enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.
Coquille

In 2008, the Native American Coquille Nation passed a law recognizing same-sex marriage; it is believed to be the first tribal nation to do so.[62] Although the Oregon voters approved an amendment to the Oregon Constitution in 2004 to prohibit such marriages, the Coquille are not bound by the Oregon Constitution, because they are a federally recognized sovereign nation.[63]

Cherokee

After a Cherokee lesbian couple applied for a marriage license, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council unanimously approved a Constitutional amendment in 2004 defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The couple appealed to the judicial court on grounds that their union predated the amendment, and on 22 December 2005 the Judicial Appeals Tribunal of the Cherokee Nation dismissed an injunction against the lesbian couple filed by members of the Tribal Council to stop the marriage.[64] The couple would still need to file the marriage certificate for the marriage to become legal.

Oceania

Australia

Status of same-sex unions in Australia.

  Same-sex marriage
  Same-sex civil partnerships or relationship registers
  Domestic partnership agreement
  Defined statewide as “de facto”

Since August 2004, same-sex marriage became banned under an amended federal law Marriage Act 1961 (Amendment) Act 2004 so that neither a foreign same-sex marriage can be performed or recognised in the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961. This effectively banned same-sex marriage in Australia. The law, which prior to 2004, had not defined marriage specifically, appropriated marriage as the “voluntary union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.” In 1874 under the Hyde vs. Hyde case marriage was defined in the common law as a “voluntary union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.” Neither Civil partnerships nor civil unions are recognised by the Commonwealth Government, either. The Federal Opposition, namely the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Mark Latham, joined with the Government to support the ban, amid strong objection from the Australian Democrats and The Greens. It was passed on 13 August 2004 as effective from the day of assent. In June 2009, polling showed that 60 percent of Australians support same-gender marriage (Galaxy).

The states and territories of New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have civil partnerships or relationship registration schemes that are available for all couples. These state-level registered relationships are recognised on both the state and Commonwealth Government levels. Local governments such as Sydney, Melbourne and Yarra also provide relationship registers for symbolic recognition, but these do not provide any legal rights. Furthermore, all states and the Commonwealth Government provide recognition to same-sex couples (and unmarried opposite-sex couples) as “de facto” couples, providing them with most of the rights of married couples.

However, in 2011, Labor voted 218 to 184 in favor of same-sex marriage on a conscience vote. If passed, it would legalise same sex marriage in Australia.[65]

New Zealand

In New Zealand civil unions, which impart all of the same rights and privileges as marriage, are allowed (except for adoption).[citation needed]

South America

South America

  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership
  Unrecognized or unknown
  No recognition, issue under consideration
  No recognition, same-sex marriage officially banned
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal

Argentina

On 22 July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalise gay marriage. The law also allows same-sex couples to adopt.[66]

Brazil

The Supremo Tribunal Federal ruled in May 2011 that civil unions are legal. Legally, same-sex couples can currently have registered partneships and full rights to adopt children.

On October 25, 2011, Brazil’s Supreme Court of Justice has ruled that two women can legally be married. It’s the highest court in Brazil to uphold a gay marriage. It overturned two lower court’s ruling against the women. [67]

Colombia

The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled in February 2007 that same-sex couples are entitled to the same inheritance rights as heterosexuals in common-law marriages. This ruling made Colombia the first South American nation to legally recognize gay couples. Furthermore, in January 2009, the Court ruled that same-sex couples must be extended all of the rights offered to cohabitating heterosexual couples.[68]

Ecuador

The Ecuadorian new constitution has made Ecuador stand out in the region. Ecuador has become the first country in South America where same sex civil union couples are legally recognized as a family and share all the same rights of married heterosexual couples (except for adoption).[citation needed]

Uruguay

Uruguay became the first country in South America to allow civil unions (for both opposite sex and same-sex couples) in a national platform on 1 January 2008.

Children can be adopted by same-sex couples since 2009.[69][70]

Religious recognition

The religious status of same-sex marriage has been changing since the late 20th century and varies greatly. Reformed traditions in mainly Protestant (Liberal Christian denominations and Unitarian churches) and Reformed Jewish societies tend to be more receptive to the idea than orthodox or conservative ones (Catholic), but many others, particularly some Protestant churches are deeply divided over the issue.

Recognized

Many religious institutions that do recognize same-sex marriage avoid using the terms “marriages” or “weddings”, and instead call them “blessings” or “unions.” How and to what degree these institution embrace the idea varies, often by congregation. These institutions have recognized same-sex marriage or encourage it in their congregations in some fashion, either simply as marriage or some kind blessing or union:

Christianity

The following denominations accept same-sex unions to some degree:

  • Anglican
    • The Diocese of New Westminster in British Columbia (which includes Greater Vancouver) decided to allow the blessing of same-sex unions in 2002. In response bishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America representing more than one-third of the Anglican Communion cut their relations with the diocese.
    • As of June 2011, 8 of the 29 Dioceses have the discretion to bless same-gender civil marriages in consultation with the bishop.
    • The Old Catholic Church of Germany blesses same sex unions
  • The Episcopal Church (United States) blesses same-sex unions[71]
  • British Quakers, some American Quaker meetings (see Homosexuality and Quakerism). (1987)
  • Lutheran(Europe)
    • In the Netherlands and Switzerland the reformed church allows blessings of married same-sex couples.
    • The Danish Church of Argentina marries same-sex couples.
    • In Germany some Lutheran and reformed churches in the EKD permit their priests also blessings of same-sex couples.
    • On 22 October 2009, the governing board of the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden voted 176–62[72] in favour of allowing its priests to wed same-sex couples in new gender-neutral church ceremonies, including the use of the term marriage.[31][73] Same-sex marriages in the church will be available starting 1 November 2009.[74]
  • Metropolitan Community Church perform same-sex marriages,
  • United Church of Canada variously bless same-sex unions or allow same-sex marriages in the church—several Canadian religious groups joined in an interfaith coalition in support of equal marriage rights, and issued a joint statement: http://www.religious-coalition.org/
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (2009) – During its 2009 Churchwide Assembly the ELCA passed a resolution by a vote of 619-402 reading “Resolved, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”[75]
  • United Church of Christ (2005) – the specifics of the resolution did not change any church’s religious marriage policies, but urged UCC congregations to advocate for civil marriage equality. In keeping with the polity of that denomination, doctrinal matters like wedding policies remain under the authority of each local congregation.

Judaism

Rabbis will also perform blessings of same sex relationships where one partner is Jewish and the other is not so long as a (legal) Civil Partnership is in force for the couple.

Other

Debated or divided

In many religious traditions, the adherents are deeply divided over the issue, often alongside other contentious issues, such as having women in leadership positions or legalizing abortions. The institutions within the following traditions are either debating the issue or have policies that vary according to congregation:

Christianity

  • Baptists, other than the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Presbyterians – PC(USA), not the more conservative PCA, OPC, ARP, EPC and others

Judaism

Hinduism

  • Individual interpretation

Not recognized

The religious traditions or institutions that do not recognize same-sex marriage tend to view homosexuality as immoral. These traditions or institutions do not recognize same-sex unions in any form or in any congregation:

Christianity

Judaism

Others

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Chief Justice Renato Corona “compounded insult with injury” when he signed a conditional waiver opening up his accounts and assets to scrutiny, and then walked out of the impeachment proceedings before he could be cross-examined, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda blasted Corona for his actions in the Senate despite being allowed to give a lengthy opening statement in the impeachment trial.

He said that instead of making the most of his day in court, Corona squandered the opportunity by resorting to the same arguments used by people who want to remove President Aquino from office.

He said the issuance of the conditional waiver and Corona’s subsequent walkout led to an unprecedented lockdown in the Senate, in order to assert its authority and the dignity of the court.

“Never has there been a more blatant attempt to manipulate a duly constituted court. Never has there been such an obvious attempt to stage-manage judicial proceedings,’ he said.

“It does not help Mr. Corona that that after having been given the highest consideration by the Senate, after giving his side he tried to leave the proceedings, as if to say he is the only one who should be heard,” he added.

During his opening statement, Corona admitted that he owned 4 dollar accounts instead of the 82 accounts alleged by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

He then signed a waiver allowing all banks to open his peso and dollar accounts. He also allowed government agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Anti-Money Laundering Council, Securities and Exchange Commission and Land Registration Authority to reveal all assets under his name.

However, the chief magistrate refused to turn over the waiver until all 188 impeachment complainants and Sen. Franklin Drilon sign a similar waiver.

“If any of you should choose to decline, I regret that there is no point in my waiver because it will only allow the completion for the persecution I have suffered. I am no thief. I am no criminal. I have done no wrong. But honorable senators, I am also no fool. I pray that these gentlemen will accept my invitation,” he added.

“Otherwise I stand by my actions as being completely founded on the law itself. Isusumite ko po ang aking waiver sa kinauukulan kapag kumpleto na ang 189 waivers. Kuing hindi sila papayag sa hamong ito, bibgyan ko po nang direktiba ang aking defense penal na i-rest na ang aking defense tutal wala naman silang napatunayang paratang sa akin.”

He maintained that he never disclosed his dollar deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) because the Foreign Currency Deposit Act states that all foreign currency accounts are absolutely confidential in nature.

Lacierda said Corona was using an ordinary law to justify the non-disclosure of his dollar deposits when Article XI Sec. 17 of the Constitution requires disclosure of assets.

“Mr. Corona, however, proposes that an ordinary law, RA 6426 holds supreme over the Constitution’s requirements. But first and foremost, it is about accountability: about the character and behavior of the head of a branch of government of whose members none but the highest ethical standards are required at all times,” he said.

The President’s spokesman said impeachment is the instrument for determining if a high official otherwise guaranteed a fixed term, can and should be dismissed as a danger to the state or unworthy of high office.

He said: “As the Senate ponders the testimony of Mr. Corona, one thing is sure: all dangerous avenues that may lead to questioning the Senate and the conduct of its proceedings, have been closed, by Mr. Corona asking for, and being given, this unprecedented opportunity to speak his mind – and disclose his cavalier attitude to our institutions, the law and the truth.”

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Impeachment court Presiding Judge Juan Ponce Enrile on Tuesday warned Chief Justice Renato Corona that senator-judges will decide his case without his opening statement if he does not return on Wednesday.

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