South Korea's Supreme Court has overturned a ban on Shortbus, a US film which had been banned for its gay content and explicit sex scenes.

On Friday, the court ordered the country's rating board to lift the ban on the 2006 film.

Written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, Shortbus includes several scenes depicting group orgies involving both gay and straight couples.

“As a whole, the film cannot be regarded as simply lewd material with little artistic value,” the court said in a statement. “Therefore the decision to restrict its screening is not legitimate.”

“The rating board's decision to ban screening [of the movie] was an abuse of authority,” the court added.

While banned, the film has been screened in conservative South Korea. Audiences managed to view the movie at film events and festivals which remain free from the strict restrictions of the Korea Media Rating Board.

The movie's South Korean distributor, Sponge ENT, had sued after it failed to receive approval from authorities in 2007.

The ruling comes after a July Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional one provision in the law that censors movies; calling the law “ambiguous.”

Shortbus, which stars a mostly unknown cast, is considered a cult hit. The movie had its world premiere at the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival.