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Obergefell v.

Hodges

Facts: Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one
man and one woman. The petitioners, 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex
partners are deceased, filed suits in Federal District Courts in their home States, claiming
that respondent state officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right
to marry or to have marriages lawfully performed in another State given full recognition.
Each District Court ruled in petitioners’ favor, but the Sixth Circuit consolidated the cases
and reversed.

Issue: Do federal laws which do not sanction same-sex marriages violate the right
Fourteenth Amendment by denying same-sex couples the right to marry?

Ruling: Yes. The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two
people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex
when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. The Court noted
other changes in the institution of marriage: the decline of arranged marriages, invalidation
of bans on interracial marriage and use of contraception, and abandonment of the law of
coverture. The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment extend
to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including
intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs. Marriage is a centerpiece of
social order and fundamental under the Constitution; it draws meaning from related rights
of childrearing, procreation, and education. The marriage laws at issue harm and
humiliate the children of same-sex couples; burden the liberty of same-sex couples;
and abridge central precepts of equality.

Acebedo vs. Arquero

Facts: Petitioner filed an administrative case against Respondent for immorality. The latter
cohabited with petitioner’s wife and their union had allegedly produced a child. Respondent
admitted to the affair but denied paternity. He justified his actions by reason of a Kasunduan
or written agreement entered into by complainant and his wife, consenting to and giving
freedom to either of them to seek any partner and to live with him or her.

Issue: Does an agreement between spouses, where they agreed to be separated and consent
to seeking another partner, have an effect on the validity of their marriage?

Ruling: No. Being an employee of the judiciary, respondent ought to have known that the
Kasunduan had absolutely no force and effect on the validity of the marriage between
complainant and his wife. Article 1 of the Family Code provides that marriage is an
inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law
and not subject to stipulation. It is an institution of public order or policy, governed by
rules established by law which cannot be made inoperative by the stipulation of the parties.

Republic vs. Silverio


Facts: Silverio underwent a sex reassignment surgery. From then on, she lived as a female
and was engaged to be married. He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate
changed from “Rommel” to “Mely”, and his sex from “male” to “female.”

Issue: May a person successfully petition for a change of name and sex appearing in the birth
certificate to reflect the result of a sex reassignment surgery?

Ruling: No. RA 9048 does not sanction a change of first name on the ground of sex
reassignment. Rather than avoiding confusion, changing petitioner’s first name for his
declared purpose may only create grave complications in the civil registry and the public
interest. To the mind of the court, petitioner failed to present proper or reasonable cause or
any compelling reason and that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and official name,
to justify such change.
Likewise, the sex of a person is determined at birth, visually done by the birth attendant (the
physician or midwife) by examining the genitals of the infant. Considering that there is no
law legally recognizing sex reassignment, the determination of a person’s sex made at the
time of his or her birth, if not attended by error, is immutable. Thus, there is no legal basis
for his petition for the correction or change of the entries in his birth certificate.

Republic vs. Cagandahan

Facts: Cagandahan was born female and was registered as such in her birth certificate. While
growing up, she developed secondary male characteristics and was diagnosed to have
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) which is a condition where persons thus afflicted
possess both male and female characteristics. She then alleged that for all interests and
appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she has become a male person. Thus, she prayed
that her birth certificate be corrected such that her gender be changed from female to male
and her first name be changed from Jennifer to Jeff.

Issue: May a person successfully petition for a change of name and sex appearing in the birth
certificate on the ground of her medical condition known as CAH or being intersex?

Ruling: Yes. Where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor
in his gender classification would be what the individual, like respondent, having reached
the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of
himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones
(androgen) there is preponderant biological support for considering him as being
male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at
birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed.
With respect to the change of name, the SC found that such a change will conform with the
change of the entry in his birth certificate from female to male.