Homosexuality is Criminal Again as India’s Top Court Reinstates Ban

In a huge blow to gay rights in the world’s largest democracy, India’s top court on Tuesday reinstated an archaic law that makes gay sex a criminal offense on grounds that it can only be dismissed by lawmakers in government.

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Saurabh Das / AP

Gay rights activists attend a protest meeting after the top Indian court ruled that a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality will remain in effect in India in New Delhi, on Dec. 11, 2013.

In a surprise move, India’s top court on Wednesday reversed a landmark judgment by a lower court decriminalizing homosexuality in the country. The court said that the law regarding homosexuality could only be changed by the government. “The legislature must consider deleting this provision (Section 377) from law as per the recommendations of the attorney general,” Justice GS Singhvi, the head of the two-judge Supreme Court bench said in Wednesday’s ruling.

In 2009, the Delhi High Court had overturned an archaic colonial law (section 377 of the Indian Penal Code) that made gay sex an offense punishable by up to life imprisonment. Wednesday’s decision shocked many because while anticipation was high not many expected India’s top court, which in the past upheld many progressive rights judgments often going against the government and popular discourse, to revoke such a forward looking judgment.

“The Supreme Court, by reversing the 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalized same-sex conduct between consenting adults, failed to recognize everyone’s internationally protected right to privacy and non-discrimination,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “The Supreme Court’s ruling is a disappointing setback to human dignity.”

The statement urged the Indian government to take a stand and join other Commonwealth states like Australia and New Zealand that have already abolished this colonial law.

Stunned LGBT activists, who have campaigned for decades for acceptance in India’s deeply conservative society, called the decision “retrograde, regressive and revolting.”

“I am thoroughly disgusted and disappointed that the Supreme Court can be party to taking away the rights of a section of the country’s citizens,” Ashok Row Kavi, a veteran LGBT activist told TIME. “India was being looked upon as a model for reform of the anti-sodomy law. This is a huge set back not just for the morale of the LGBT community but also a blow for India’s very successful fight against HIV.”

Decriminalizing homosexuality, the United Nations had told India in 2008, would allow successful intervention programs and help in the fight against HIV/AIDS. India had in fact halved new HIV infections in recent years.

While activists vow to challenge the ruling, the decision to decriminalize homosexuality is now in the hands of New Delhi. And while the good news is that the government has recently changed its position on the issue, arguing for it in the court pointing out that the anti-gay law in the country was archaic and that Indian society has growm more tolerant towards homosexuality, the bad news is that the country is heading for general polls in a few months and a much embattled coalition government is striving hard to retain power. It is thus highly unlikely that gay rights will take center stage in Indian Parliament any time soon.

452 comments
lees2002
lees2002

Good for them,  Finally sense returns to the world....Now lets total it up.......Most of the world on one side, including countires with the highest test scores


And 15 countries  on the other side , some with the lowest test scores, highest crime rate, highest drug abuse, highest rape rate, highest STD rates

lees2002
lees2002

Good for them.    Sorry SusanPau, but we have more rapees and abuse in America. than all of india



SusanPau
SusanPau

Instead of focusing on gang rapes of tourists and other women and children of India, the lawmakers choose to pick on people who have no interest in raping anyone or breaking any other laws.  India's leaders need to get their priorities straight.    

Anton Roich
Anton Roich

Another Country with Australia outlawing ungodly acts - thank Christ!

guptareeya
guptareeya

there are so many responses here  that support this decision it hurts to see people hating a creation of god because they are different 

they are not different people, they are just normal like you they are born this way i wish you get this thing through your thick heads that HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE !!

and i swear i will comment against every homophobe who have brain size of a pea nut and absolutely no heart 

Shaurya Purohit
Shaurya Purohit

dude India has much more problems to look forward to at the moment than homosexuality n get ur facts clear the SC of India overturned the decision of the HC of India which stated that homosexuality should be legalized by the end of this year,the real decision is to be made by the parliament!

Mani N Pavuluri
Mani N Pavuluri

I am ashamed of this decision in my birth Country! Wake up India....I am pretty sure parliament will overrule this soon.

Ali Shastry Haslan Husain
Ali Shastry Haslan Husain

If our fathers didn't love our fathers in the dark ages, we gays wouldn't be here to debate this. Heterosexuals have not been so dependable on reproduction.

JasonBBB
JasonBBB

Good! Way to go India! This is the argument that surprises me just by it's existence.  

Tony Chou
Tony Chou

exactly what i've been thinking all the time on indian issues. they seriously need to deal with the "real" problems there *sigh*

Denise Hubbard
Denise Hubbard

like "Oh the country is over populated, from now on you can only be gay, and we will revisit the issue in 4 years."

Denise Hubbard
Denise Hubbard

just once I would like to see someone make being heterosexual illegal, tell all the heterosexual people their wedding vows were invalid.

Benedict Ouma
Benedict Ouma

God bless India....the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...this homosexual perversion is sick

Bluford Smith
Bluford Smith

Guess they thought it was more inportant to be right with GOD, then be popular or politically correct.

Alexander Gonzalez
Alexander Gonzalez

And we will become even more bolder. AND EVEN MORE VOCAL..You can't get rid of us..we're as natural and loving as anyone else..

Alexander Gonzalez
Alexander Gonzalez

The problem is...your dog can't make decisions or sign a legal document...or consent to anything..so that point is dumb.

Jose Jesus Azpeitia Flores
Jose Jesus Azpeitia Flores

Poor people,their goberment should stop asking to them pay taxis, in the same way it danies justice and equility.

uub140
uub140

Good.  Now adapt such a law in U.S. and start fryin' 'em.

Parag Zaminson
Parag Zaminson

sorrowful news..................................

Rogelio Martinezgonzalez
Rogelio Martinezgonzalez

A country rich in traditions can not ignore, their customs and homosexuals are part of their culture .....

Subramanian Srinivasan
Subramanian Srinivasan

பார்க்க பா.ம.க. கொடி மாதிரியே இல்லை.?

ToniMassari
ToniMassari

"Ungodly" is the persecution of those who have not hurt anyone.  "Ungodly" is to hate the way you sub-human vermin swim in that pool of your own excrement you call l your "souls.  Stop flattering yourselves, you have NO souls, you are lice!

guptareeya
guptareeya

go to hell 

u narrow minded prick 

u r so going to hell for questioning gods creation not that u deserve any better 

lees2002
lees2002

@guptareeya  Sin is not created by God and he doesn't "make" thieves, adulterers or any sexual  sinner.

ToniMassari
ToniMassari

@JasonBBBYou mean you are as backward, sub-human and parasitic as these High Court morons?  I am inclined to agree, yes, you are definitely a maggot!

ToniMassari
ToniMassari

I look forward to seeing you eat your words :D

guptareeya
guptareeya

go die somewhere that will be a good news 

ToniMassari
ToniMassari

Just for the fun of it! LOL! Great idea!

ToniMassari
ToniMassari

What is sick is your slavering hatred, you "Kreesteeay" halfwits!  Real Christians follow Christ, a pacifist and a man who preached love.  You, you follow all that is evil in the established religions.  Insecure about your own masculinity, clearly as ignorant as the day you were born, but, sadly, well versed in hate, in fact that is ALL you are versed in.  I wish on all of you the judgement of your own children, to grow old knowing yourselves despised, marginalised, leftovers from another, more evil world that, in time, we shall relegate to the history books!  In other words... DIE SCREAMING AND ALONE!

guptareeya
guptareeya

yeah well i think it was not wrong of  "the goras" when they discriminated against you because you are black 

because if they were wrong then so are you 

homoesexual perversion !! have you seen the crimes that straight guys have commited heard of the word 

rape ! i am sure straight people are angels 

you half witted butt homosexuality is not perversion its how they are born but you wont understand it because you are born without BRAINS


guptareeya
guptareeya

yeah right !!

i am sure god came and told in your dreams how homosexuality was a sin !! right 

i am quiet surprised he didn't tell you it was his job to decide right and wrong and not your narrow minded butt

i am also surprised god taught you hate and discrimination 

HIPOCRITES like you do the worst things imaginable and say the innocent homosexuals ( WHICH BY THE WAY IS NOT A CHOICE MR. IGNORANT) are siners when in real people like you should be banned for ever ! 

guptareeya
guptareeya

FIRST LEARN ENGLISH 

then learn maths without using the number zero and then comment ill about my country

guptareeya
guptareeya

no ones ever going to get rid of u 

they cant ever 

guptareeya
guptareeya

@uub140 we will sure to do that first we fry your brains and see if it really is full of sh*t 

vikramb
vikramb

@uub140 I am sure you would be distasteful whether fried or alive

lees2002
lees2002

@ToniMassari There is no "hatred"  


Perversion is perversion,  That's based on logic and reason that most of the world embraces, more so now than ever.

ToniMassari
ToniMassari

@guptareeyaTut tut Gupta, you are taking the credit for the invention of the Zero?  Yet the Arabs came up with that one... or so they claim :D  Which is the real God then.. yours?  the Cristians?  The Muslims?  The Jews or the Zoroastrians?  Charlatans, deluded sheep... bound for the slaughterhouse.  No matter, we atheists will triumph. in the end, with science and rationality, and then ALL nations will be secular, so that religious fanatics won't influence legislature anymore.