Shares of South Korea’s leading condom maker soared after the country’s Constitutional Court legalized adultery.
In South Korea, extramarital sex just got a whole lot safer, after the country’s highest court overturned a law banning adultery.
The abolition of the 62-year-old law on Thursday saw the share price of the country’s biggest condom maker, Unidus, surge 15% – the daily limit on the country’s Kosdaq market.
Despite South Korea’s economic rise in recent decades – Seoul, the capital, is one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities – a deep vein of traditionalism still courses through society. The law was passed in 1953 to protect wives who were financially dependent on their husbands.
The country’s economy was largely agricultural and women had few property rights. More recently, supporters of the law have argued that it preserves conservative family values amid a surge of modernisation.
Seven of the court’s nine judges voted to overturn the law, which carried a maximum penalty of two years in jail.
“The law is unconstitutional, as it infringes people’s right to make their own decisions on sex and secrecy and freedom of their private life, violating the principle banning excessive enforcement under the constitution,” said constitutional court justice Seo Ki-seok.
The presiding justice, Park Han-chul, said: “Public conceptions of individuals’ rights in their sexual lives have undergone changes.”
One dissenter, justice Ahn Chang-ho, said the vote would “spark a surge in debauchery”.
Despite the harsh maximum sentence, in recent years very few of the accused have spent time behind bars. Charges are frequently dropped, as divorcing couples increasingly turn to civil courts and financial settlements to resolve their differences.
Source: The Guardian