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Hong Kong top court upholds rejection of public gay sex ban

[JURIST] Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal [official backgrounder] Tuesday upheld [judgment] a 2006 lower court ruling that invalidated a law targeting public homosexual sodomy [Crimes Ordinance S.118F(1), text], ruling that the law's specific focus against homosexual sodomy is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and thereby violates Hong Kong's Basic Law [text and backgrounder] and the Bill of Rights [text]. The original ruling [judgment], issued last-September by the Court of Appeal for the High Court [official backgrounder], stems from an appeal brought on by two men who admitted violating the law in a private car parked beside a public road. The law was enacted in 1991 when Hong Kong was a British colony, but this is the first time that anyone has been prosecuted under it.

Last September, the Court of Appeal for the High Court upheld [judgment; JURIST report] a 2005 ruling that invalided laws prohibiting homosexual sex [JURIST report], specifically rejecting a law that held that men under 21 who engaged in sodomy could receive a life sentence, while heterosexual and lesbian relationships were legal after the age of 16. AP has more.

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