In my home country, the Philippines, adultery is a criminal offense penalized under the Revised Penal Code. Of course, so is concubinage. I just think that the penalty for the man is lesser than of the woman. Adultery (an act committed by the woman) shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods (2 years, 4 months and 1 day up to 6 years). Concubinage (an act committed by the man) shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods (6 months and 1 day up to 4 years and 2 months). Maybe I am not too updated with the happenings in the Philippines but I have not heard of a party petitioning that adultery or concubinage shall cease to be a criminal offense.
That’s why the news that the Consitutional Court here in Korea is scheduled to reach a decision on Thursday on whether or not adultery will continue to be a criminal offense came as a surprise. Here’s the reason forwarded by the parties: “the law infringes upon the right of individual choice in sexual relations and the right to privacy”.
Hey, hey, hey. I remember a campaign slogan for “No Smoking”: “Your freedom ends at the tip of my nose”.
Shouldn’t this continue to be true for married couples? Marital problems shouldn’t be an excuse to run around and cheat on your partner. Uphold the “right to privacy” at the expense of cheating on your partner? Basic decency, please.
As the Constitutional Court of Korea has repeatedly affirmed the constitutionality of criminalizing adultery, I hope it will continue to uphold the current jurisprudence on this constitutional issue. I may not be a Korean, but I believe that family values are universal.