My wife and I have been married for 12 years and we have 3 children together. I can say that we generally have a very harmonious relationship. Recently, I was surprised to know that she filed a petition for annulment against me and she accuses me of being a homosexual. I am certain of my sexual orientation and I would want to save our marriage. She gave statements in her pleading that she discovered me kissing a male colleague in his lips and that I often get along with male friends or that I secretly and intimately talk to particular ones. All of these are necessarily false. Does my wife have sufficient basis to annul our marriage?
The Supreme Court speaking through former Associate Justice Ruben Reyes already ruled in a case similar to your situation. The case of Manuel G. Almelor v. Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas and Leonilda Almelor (G.R. No. 179620, 26 August 2008) clarified that sufficient proof is needed to substantiate that another person is a homosexual.
Moreover, it was discussed in the same case that:
“Even assuming, ex gratia argumenti, that Manuel is a homosexual, the lower court cannot appreciate it as a ground to annul his marriage with Leonida. The law is clear a marriage may be annulled when the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, such as concealment of homosexuality. Nowhere in the decision was it proven by preponderance of evidence that Manuel was a homosexual at the onset of his marriage and that he deliberately hid such fact from his wife. It is the concealment of homosexuality, not homosexuality per se, that vitiates the consent of the innocent party. Such concealment presupposes bad faith and intent to defraud the other party in giving consent to the marriage.”
Clearly, mere allegation of “homosexuality” is not a sufficient ground under our law to annul a marriage. The same must be proven as fact and that there was a deliberate “concealment” of such fact.
The case even added that:
“Consent is an essential requisite of a valid marriage. To be valid, it must be freely given by both parties. An allegation of vitiated consent must be proven by preponderance of evidence. The Family Code has enumerated an exclusive list of circumstances constituting fraud. Homosexuality per se is not among those cited, but its concealment.”
“To reiterate,” said the Supreme Court, “homosexuality per se is only a ground for legal separation. It is its concealment that serves as a valid ground to annul a marriage. Concealment in this case is not simply a blanket denial, but one that is constitutive of fraud. It is this fundamental element that respondent failed to prove.”
Ultimately, your wife has the burden to prove that you have intentionally concealed from, her the allegation she has stated as basis for the petition of annulment of marriage she filed against you.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org