[JURIST] Eight men in Egypt were referred to trial Monday for inciting debauchery after appearing in a video of what is said to be the country’s first same-sex marriage. The men were arrested [JURIST report] for the video earlier this month after it went viral on the Internet. Although homosexuality is not explicitly outlawed [AFP report] by Egyptian law, it can be punished under several of the country’s morality statutes. According to an official from the prosecutor’s office, the accused men will face charges of inciting debauchery and offending public morality in front of a misdemeanor court. In the past Egyptian homosexuals have faced a wide range of charges, including “scorning religion” and “sexual practices contrary to Islam.”
Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is widely controversial and contested topic throughout the world today. The US has seen a total of 19 states legalize same-sex marriage. In the most recent development earlier this month 32 states asked the US Supreme Court [JURIST report] to issue a definitive ruling on same-sex marriage. Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the court to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn the bans. The other seventeen states simply asked that the Court clear up a “morass” of lawsuits. Anti-same-sex marriage laws are being challenged elsewhere in the world as well. Last month Uganda’s Constitutional Court in Kampala overturned [JURIST report] their internationally scrutinized Anti-Homosexuality Act, deciding to strike down the law because they believed it did not properly pass through Parliament. In June Luxembourg’s national legislative body approved a bill [JURIST report] extending marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples.
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