An Egyptian court has acquitted 26 men who were arrested in a televised raid last month by police looking for gays at a Cairo public bathhouse.

The trial, which caused an uproar among activists and rights groups, captured public attention after a pro-government TV network aired scenes of half-naked men being pulled from the bathhouse by police.

Same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited in Egyptian law. The men faced various charges, including "debauchery" and performing indecent public acts.

Monday's verdict came after only three hearings, during which families quarreled with journalists who tried to photograph their relatives in the dock.

Rights activists say 2014 was the worst year in a decade for Egypt's gay community, with at least 150 men arrested or put on trial.