Albay congressman files 'My Husband's Lover' bill
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Legal action can be taken by an aggrieved spouse against her husband's gay lover or his wife's lesbian lover under a bill filed by Albay Representative Edcel "Grex" Lagman Jr.
"The commandment ‘Thou shall not commit adultery' carries a moral imperative not only for men and women but also for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and develop gender equality," Lagman said in filing what he called "My Husband's Lover Bill," the title of a television drama series.
House Bill 2352 seeks to amend Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code (Crimes Against Chastity) by broadening the scope of what constitutes adultery.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. expressed backing for the bill, saying this will bring "equal rights and equal responsibilities between the genders."
According to Lagman, there is no crime committed under the present law if a married woman engages in a sexual activity with another woman, or a married man engages in sexual activity with another man.
"The law as it now stands only provides a cause of action against men and women who carry on extra marital affairs with full knowledge that their lovers are married," he said.
"With my amendments, there can now be a cause of action for gay and/or lesbian lovers. If this bill passes, legal recourse can now be had by an aggrieved spouse against her husband's gay lover and/or his wife's lesbian lover," Lagman added.
Lagman, a lawyer, said he had been consulted by clients who were left without legal action for their erring husbands and wives because there is no law that punishes such extra-marital relationships.
The current law on adultery punishes a married woman who has intercourse with a man other than her husband, while a married man who engages in sexual activity with a woman other than his wife may be charged with concubinage.
Lagman said the bill will also empower the LGBT community.
"I am supportive of gender equality and rights of the LGBT community, but we must not limit its concept with the positive side of things...The most important facet of these amendments is that a gay or lesbian can now be prosecuted for adultery, legally putting them on equal footing with a man or a woman who knowingly has sexual relations with a married person," he said.
Lawyer Ariel Inton Jr., a former Quezon City councilor, who heads a group of lawyers advocating the rights of LGBT community, expressed support for the measure. Various women's groups are also backing the bill, according to Lagman.