[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Saturday convicted and sentenced eight men to three years in prison following their participation in an alleged same-sex wedding party. The men denied the charges. The men were referred to trial [JURIST report] 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 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. In the past Egyptian homosexuals have faced a wide range of charges, including “scorning religion” and “sexual practices contrary to Islam.” It is unclear if the men plan to appeal the court’s ruling.
Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is widely controversial and contested topic throughout the world today. Last month US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will recognize [JURIST report] same-sex marriage in six additional states. The addition of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming will now bring the total number of Us states recognizing same-sex marriage to 32. In August Uganda’s Constitutional Court in Kampala overturned [JURIST report] an internationally scrutinized Anti-Homosexuality Act, deciding to strike down the law because 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.