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India top court criminalises gay sex
December 11, 2013, 5:55 am

The bench on Wednesday allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations challenging the high court verdict on the ground that “gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country” [Getty Images]

The bench on Wednesday allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations challenging the high court verdict on the ground that “gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country” [Getty Images]

In a blow to gay rights activists, India’s top court on Wednesday ruled that gay sex is an offence punishable with up to life imprisonment, reinforcing a British colonial law which bans homosexual sex.

A bench of justices in the Supreme Court in the Indian capital, G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya set aside a lower court’s verdict which had in 2009 decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults in private.

The bench on Wednesday allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations challenging the high court verdict on the ground that “gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country”.

The bench, however, put the ball in the Indian Parliament’s court for Indian elected legislators to take a decision on the controversial issue.

With the top court verdict, gay sex is now criminal in India. An increasingly vocal pro-gay lobby in India has said the British-era law was a violation of human rights.

The verdict evoked strong responses on Twitter as well with most lamenting the casting aside of the earlier order.

“India you continue to disappoint me. Section377 is a disgrace. Leave the gay community alone,” tweeted Bindu Rai.

“We are going to put cops behind gay couples. That’s the India we are supposed to create in the 21st century?” asked noted Indian writer Chetan Bhagat.

 

With inputs from Agencies

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