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MANILA, Philippines – What if you find yourself in the shoes of Lally, that character in a

teleserye whose husband is having an affair with a gay man?

You currently don’t have any recourse under our Revised Penal Code, but Albay Rep
Edcel Lagman wants to cure that with House Bill 2352.

His proposed law seeks to provide wives and husbands the option to sue their partners
who are committing same-sex adultery.

Dubbed as the "My Husband's Lover" bill, the measure seeks to broaden the definition
of adultery under Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code to include same-sex
extramarital affairs.

The bill was named after the popular GMA-7’s hit show.

WATCH: #Sextalk: Why has 'My Husband's Lover' become such a hit?

Under laws governing crimes against chastity, a married woman caught having sexual
relations with a man other than her husband can be imprisoned for committing adultery.

Under current law, adultery occurs when a married woman has sex with a man other
than her husband. On the other hand, a man who has sex with a woman other than his
wife commits concubinage.

Meanwhile, a married man who who has sexual intercourse with another woman can be
charged with concubinage, which carries lighter penalties.

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Criminal charges for same-sex affairs involving married individuals are, however, non-
existent.

“But what if a married woman engages in a sexual activity with another woman?"
Lagman said in a statement. "Conversely, what if the married man engages in a sexual
activity with another man? Under the present law, no crime is committed here.”

A practising lawyer before he became a congressman, Lagman had been consulted


about similar dilemmas by clients.
"If this bill passes, legal recourse can now be had by an aggrieved spouse against her
husband's gay lover or his wife's lesbian lover," Lagman said.

The Philippine Constitution only allows marriage between a man and a woman.

‘LGBTs should support this’

Although Lagman said he is supportive of gender equality and rights of the LGBT
community, he believes "we must not limit its concept with the positive side of things."

“Just like in marriage, equality should be 'present for better or for worse.' Meaning,
equality must be upheld both in the rewards as well as in the sanctions for violations
handed by society through innovative laws,” Lagman said.

“Every person must also be prepared to accept and carry the burden of equal liability
and responsibility. That is the true essence of democracy,” the Albay representative
continued.

Lawyer Ariel Enrile-Inton Jr, a gay rights advocate, pledged his support for the measure.
He said he hopes the LGBT community takes on the mindset not only to be
"beneficiaries of progressive laws that advance their interests" but also those that puts
them "on the same footing for laws that provide penal sanctions."

Lagman is the son of former Albay Rep Edcel Lagman, principal proponent of another
controversial bill that became the reproductive health law in the 15th Congress.
– Rappler.com