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Hong Kong government challenges gay sex ruling

[JURIST] The Hong Kong government [official website] Friday appealed a high court ruling [decision text, in English] last month that said a criminal law preventing consenting males under the age of 21 from having sex was a violation of human rights [JURIST report]. The criminal law allowed lesbians and heterosexuals to engage in sex from the age of 16, but prohibited sex between consenting males, who faced potential life sentences if caught and convicted. The case had been brought by a 20-year old male and the high court said the law was "an arbitrary interference in his private life," discriminatory against homosexual males, and was inconsistent with Hong Kong's Basic Law [text and background] and Bill of Rights [text]. The plaintiff's lawyer said he was surprised by the government's appeal. Reuters has more.

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