Fiji’s High Court has begun hearing an appeal from the Australian tourist and Fijian man sentenced to two years’ imprisonment earlier this year for consensual gay sex.

The appeal by retired Victorian university lecturer Thomas McCosker and Fijian Dhirendra Nadan against sodomy convictions began on Tuesday, 365Gay.com reported.

Lawyers for the pair argue their conviction for consenting gay sex clashed with Fiji’s constitution, which forbids discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

McCosker and Nadan were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in April but were later released on bail pending the appeal.

Their case angered international gay and lesbian activists, including lobbyists in Australia, who called on the Australian government to censure Fiji.

Fiji prime minister Laisenia Qarase dismissed international pressure to relax his country’s anti-gay laws, saying homosexuality was a sin.

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