Same sex, different laws: A proposal to extend the definition of legal spouse to common law LGBT partners in relation to benefits in labor standard laws and welfare legislations in the labor code

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Legal Management

Subject Categories

Commercial Law


Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Commercial Law

Thesis Adviser

Ryan Jeremiah D. Quan

Defense Panel Member

Emmanuel O. Sales
Marisa M. Buenagua


Equality and non-discrimination are principles enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in its subsequent treaties, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Likewise, the Philippines, as a member state of the United Nations and a signatory to the aforementioned Covenants, uphold the principles in the foregoing texts. However, there is an inconsistency with regard to the application of these sources of international law to the domestic laws of the Philippines.

The main premise of this research is that the definition of legal spouse in labor benefits, particularly labor standard laws and welfare legislations, should be extended to include same sex partnerships. This extension is in the light of the two covenants which the Philippines ratified, and the UDHR as a binding of customary international law.

This research was done deductively using five main sources, from an international point-of-view provided by the UDHR, ICCPR and ICESCR, narrowing down to the Constitution and then the Labor Code. An analysis of the sources provided for the methodology of this research.

An inconsistency in the domestic legalization of international law in the UDHR, ICCPR and ICESCR was found out to be existing in the constricted definition of legal spouse in the Labor Code.

This research concludes that the non-extension of the aforementioned benefits to same sex partnerships is inconsistent with international human rights standards. Specifically, the exclusive definition of beneficiaries and dependents in welfare legislations of the Labor Code is inconsistent with international standards as contained in the UDHR, ICCPR, ICESCR, and in the Philippine Constitution, and Labor Code of the Philippines. This research recommends an amendment of the definition of spouse in the Labor Code and Welfare Legislations to subsequently allow the definition of beneficiaries and dependents to be extended or made applicable to common law LGBT partners: as well as the paternity leave benefit to be extended to lesbian couples who cohabit and underwent artificial methods of impregnation.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

104 leaves

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