By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 05 2002 12:00 AM ET
Hungary's Constitutional Court said on Wednesday it has scrapped a law regarding sex between adults and consenting teenagers that discriminated against gay men and lesbians, according to Agence France-Presse.
The court annulled a paragraph of the criminal code that said it was a crime punishable by up to three years in prison for gay adults to have sex with consenting teenagers aged 14 to 18, a court spokesman said. Sex between heterosexual adults and consenting teenagers aged 14 and over is not illegal in Hungary. "The criminal code discriminated against homosexuals in an arbitrary and objectively unjustifiable way," the court said in its verdict.
Gay rights groups welcomed the ruling, which repeals a discriminatory section of the criminal code that has existed for nine years. "During this time at least 16 men have been sentenced to prison, and several people have actually served jail terms of up to two years under the terms of the paragraph," according to human rights group Habeas Corpus.