By Christopher Mangum
Originally published on Advocate.com December 09 2009 11:35 AM ET
A federal lawmaker in the Philippines introduced a bill on Monday to criminalize gay marriage.
Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr., a former pastor and advocate against pornography, claims that while same-sex marriage is not allowed in the country, legislation is needed to punish those who attempt to enter into such marriages.
The bill labels gay marriage “highly immoral, scandalous, and detestable," reports Filipino newspaper Business Insight Malaya.
Under the bill's provisions, same-sex couples who attempt to marry would face 15 years in prison and be fined 150,000 Philippine pesos (approximately $3,200.)
Similarly, individuals who misrepresent their sex to obtain a marriage license would face 12 years behind bars and a fine of 100,000 Philippine pesos.
Furthermore, any person who issues a marriage license to a gay couple or who performs a same-sex marriage would also be imprisoned for 10 years and face a fine of not more than 100,000 Philippine pesos. The bill requires the local civil registrar to determine the sex of applicants before issuing a license or conducting a ceremony.