Court: Pledging marriage for sex now legal

SEOUL, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A South Korean court Thursday overturned a 1953 law punishing men for making false promises of marriage to have sex with women.

The Constitutional Court ruled 6-3 the law discriminated against men and infringed on women's competence.


The law treated women like "infants" and violated the government's "constitutional obligation" to treat men and women equally under the law, the court ruled.

The law had punished men convicted of coercing women to have sex after promising marriage with prison sentences up to two years or fines up to $4,300, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

The ruling followed a petition by a South Korean man, identified only as "Lim," who was indicted for having sex with a female coworker on four occasions under the fraudulent promise of marriage.

Lim argued the criminal law was outdated and violated his female partner's sexual rights as well as his own right to pursue happiness.

The South Korean Justice Ministry was in favor of the law, arguing it protected women's rights in South Korea's traditionally male-dominated Confucian society, Yonhap said.

The Ministry of Gender Equality submitted a written opinion to the court saying it considered the law discriminatory against men and infringed on women's sexual rights.


Twenty-five men were indicted under the law last year, with eight of them drawing prison terms, Yonhap said.

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