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India's Supreme Court Bans Gay Sex

Wow. In a move that has been met with shock around the world, India's high court has banned gay sex, setting back years of progress for the democracy's LGBT community. Gays have only increased their visibility and acceptance for the community has consistently grown in the country, so the move by the Court is completely in opposition to that progress.

Reuters reports:

India's Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated a ban on gay sex in the world's largest democracy, following a four-year period of decriminalization that had helped bring homosexuality into the open in the socially conservative country.

In 2009 the Delhi High Court ruled unconstitutional a section of the penal code dating back to 1860 that prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" and lifted the ban for consenting adults.

The Supreme Court threw out that decision, saying only parliament could change Section 377 of the penal code, widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex. Violation of the law can be punished with up to 10 years in jail.

.....

"It's a black day for us," said Anjali Gopalan, the executive director of the Naz Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO that works on sexual health and led the consortium of advocacy groups defending the 2009 judgment.

"I feel exhausted right now, thinking that we have been set back by 100 years."

With the Supreme Court's decision, it would appear that the LGBT community and its supporters must now focus their attention on influencing India's parliament and decriminalizing gay sex via legislation. 

According to Reuters, India's LGBT activists also hope to use "the media and protests to put public pressure on the court for a U-turn."

It may be a tough road ahead.

 

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