Indian Court Overturns Gay Sex Ban

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    Jul 02, 2009 9:31 AM GMT
    repost from the New York Times

    By HEATHER TIMMONS
    Published: July 2, 2009

    NEW DELHI —In a landmark ruling Thursday that could usher in an era of greater freedom for gays and lesbians in India, New Delhi’s highest court decriminalized homosexuality.

    “Discrimination is antithesis of equality,” Delhi High Court judges wrote in a 105-page decision that is the first in India to directly guarantee rights for gays and lesbians. “It is the recognition of equality which will foster dignity of every individual,” the decision said.

    Homosexuality has been illegal in India since 1861, when British rulers codified a law prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”

    The law, known as Section 377, has long been viewed as an archaic holdover from colonialism by its detractors. Gay men and women have rarely been prosecuted in modern times, but it has been used to harass, blackmail and jail marchers and participants in gatherings.

    The ruling applies only to India’s capital city but it will force the national government to either appeal the decision to the Supreme Court or repeal the law nationwide, lawyers said.

    In their decision, Chief Justice A. .P Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar declared Section 377, as it pertains to consensual sex among people above the age of 18, in violation of key parts of India’s Constitution.

    The law violates Article 14, which guarantees all people “equality before the law;” Article 15, which prohibits discrimination “on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth;” and Article 21, which guarantees “protection of life and personal liberty” they said.

    The repeal comes after a broad campaign organized by gay rights activists, authors and celebrities, lawyers and AIDS awareness groups.
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    Jul 02, 2009 9:36 AM GMT
    YAY icon_biggrin.gif
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jul 02, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
    A great step in India! (Where's the applause smiley face???)
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    Jul 02, 2009 1:09 PM GMT
    Good for India! icon_biggrin.gif <=== smiley face

    Now where's the USA? When what we do is pass DOMA instead, which the Obama Administration has just strongly argued before the court to retain. The rest of the world is getting real change, while we get promises & intentions for the future.
    icon_sad.gif <=== unhappy face