In crushing blow to India’s LGBT community Supreme Court re-criminalizes homosexuality

By Cathy Kristofferson, December 11, 2013

NDTVToday, India’s Supreme Court had the chance to overturn Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalize homosexuality for good. Instead, they set aside a 2009 High Court ruling that had temporarily decriminalized homosexuality for 1.2 billion people.

India is one of the many countries in the world still suffering with a left over British colonial penal code criminalizing homosexuality.  Theirs dates back to 1860. Prior to that homosexuality was not seen as a crime in India.  It wasn’t even seen as a problem.

377imageIn a landmark judgement in 2009 for the Naz India case, the Delhi High Court upheld the rights of India’s LGBT community saying that any sort of sexual relationship between the those of the same sex in private is not an offence. The judgement was immediately challenged by religious groups before India’s Supreme Court.

Section 377 had been used to harass members of India’s LGBT community up until that decision.  Since the ruling, though, harassment and blackmail incidences had decreased. The 2009 judgement was not stayed, so homosexuality had remained decriminalized while the Supreme Court considered the challenge.

That all just ended. One day after International Human Rights Day.

The Naz India decision had done more than just decriminalize same sex relations between consenting adults. It had said that LGBT Indians should have the same rights as all other Indians. Today India’s Supreme Court took all that back. Shame on them.

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Thanks to The Orinam Blog for their “Pointers for media: 377 case” post.


8 thoughts on “In crushing blow to India’s LGBT community Supreme Court re-criminalizes homosexuality

  1. How will India be able to handle the millions of arrests necessary to enforce this reinstated law? The jails are already full. It will take millions of people out of employment, reducing the tax take and return thousands of adopted children to orphanages.

    Now homosexual relationships are illegal again, it only takes one homophobe to call the cops. I would strongly advise gay and lesbian couples to cancel their holiday plans in India. Who wants to risk being woken up in the middle of the night by police and end up spending the next 10 years in jail?

    That’s the conundrum. Do we go there and put ourselves in harm’s way, risking arrest, or to show the heterosexual majority they’ve nothing to fear, that they’re far more of a threat to gay people than we are to them?

  2. Don’t understand this decision. The body of Psychiatrists in India have joined their colleagues world wide in stating that homosexuality is NOT a) a disease b) a mental illness c) a perversion and they have agreed that homosexuality CANNOT be changed, hence it is NOT a choice.
    http://stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com

    1. My bad the story I posted was from 2009 but popped up in a search for new news. Turns out the decriminalization of gay sex is a sad reality in India…

  3. Terrible news for LGBT citizens. I’ve just created a post discussing the fact that the UN video is already out of date, just two days after it was published. The total number of countries criminalizing same-sex relations is now 77, up from 76. The world has taken a step back for equality.

  4. “India is one of the many countries in the world still suffering with a left over British colonial penal code criminalizing homosexuality…Prior to that homosexuality was not seen as a crime in India. It wasn’t even seen as a problem.”

    See? Another bunch of white repressed guys trying to turn another country’s people against each other…it’s always that! And in 1860! Man, it just never seems to end?

    This is truly depressing–

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