October 27, 2005 18:48
A lawmaker is to launch a fresh assault on Korea's adultery laws, which many say are a case of the state poking its nose into people's private affairs. A bill to be submitted by Uri Party Yum Dong-yun would effectively scrap articles 241 and 229 of the penal code, which regulate penalties for the offense of adultery, the representative said Thursday. Heated debate is expected.
The Constitutional Court ruled the adultery laws constitutional in 1990, 2001 and 2004, saying the law is needed to ensure fidelity between married couples and protect the family. But abolitionists say the right to manage their sex life is people's own affair and point out that there are few developed countries left where adultery remains a punishable offense.
Yum's supporters argue designating adultery a crime is an invasion of privacy by the state, adding it would be much more reasonable to handle adultery in civil courts, where damages could be awarded, but not as a crime.
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