Let’s join forces and speak up for the rights of gay men in India.
The new ruling in India
Recently, two Indian Supreme Court judges decided that homosexual sex is illegal, and punishable by life in prison.
In setting aside a 2009 judgment by the Delhi High Court that decriminalised homosexual sex, the Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was constitutionally valid. Section 377 – ‘‘Unnatural offences’’ – states that ‘‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal’’ shall be punishable by life imprisonment. Framed by the British in 1860, Section 377 does not specifically define ‘unnatural offences’, but it is has historically been interpreted as an anti-sodomy law.
The decision was condemned by human right groups. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activists inside the courtroom broke down in tears at the verdict.
‘‘This decision is a body blow to people’s rights to equality, privacy and dignity. It is hard not to feel let down by this judgment, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights.’’ G Ananthapadmanabhan, chief executive of Amnesty International India.
Overturning the decision
The decision by the Indian Supreme Court to reinstate a ban on gay sex represents a “significant step backwards for India” and violates international law, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said, suggesting the case be reheard.
“Criminalizing private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified,” Pillay said in a statement issued in Geneva.
You can join Avaaz in rallying for this change by signing their petition.
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How you can help
Avaaz has put together a petition to send to the Indian Supreme Court and Parliament. You can sign this petition now to help love conquer fear in India. When the petition reaches 1 million, Avaaz will get all the names written on hundreds of giant hearts ringing the Indian parliament, then place prominent ads showing that the world will no longer accept making love illegal.