February 23, 2012

Ban on Gay Sex & Homosexuality in India: Latest Updates

Background of the current buzz about Gay Sex and Homosexuality Ban in India:

  • The Supreme Court is hearing more than a dozen petitions filed to overturn a 2009 ruling by the Delhi high court that made gay sex between consenting adults legal for the first time.
  • The ban on Gay Sex & Homosexuality was judged to be unconstitutional in a decision hailed by gay activists as a victory in their fight for equal rights and opportunities in the world's biggest democracy.

What the government says now: Government's take on Gay Sex and Homosexuality Ban in India

Gay Sex and Homosexuality Ban in India

  • The Centre is opposing dilution of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code by Delhi high court, which decriminalised homosexual act in private between consenting adults, and urged the Supreme Court to reverse the earlier landmark ruling by High Court regarding legalizing Gay Sex & Homosexuality.
  • It told the Supreme Court that the high court erred because a vast section of Indian society still considered it to be an immoral act, hence the provision needs to be retained in full to reflect the society's views.
  • Though the Centre did not directly appeal against the judgement, the ministry of home affairs came out strongly against dilution of Section 377.
  • According to the home ministry representative, Gay sex "is highly immoral and against the social order, against nature and spreads HIV."
  • When the Supreme Court asked who decides what is immoral, the Union government said the society did so and argued that the laws cannot but reflect the views of the society, which in India considers homosexuality as immoral.
  • The ministry said it favoured the ban staying in place in order to prevent child abuse and because Indian society was largely against homosexuality according to a survey by the Law Commission
  • The government said the HC had considered judgements of foreign countries where homosexuality may not be resented. According to the Home Ministry - "Our moral and social values are different from other countries and we cannot be guided by them"

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