Indian government insists gay sex is ok

Attorney general hopes to end confusion in Delhi supreme court over its stance on Section 377

Indian government insists gay sex is ok
22 March 2012

The Indian government insists that it supports the high court’s decision to decriminalize gay sex.

The announcement by Attorney General G E Vahanvati, follows confusion over the government’s stance on the issue, which is currently being debated again in Delhi supreme court.

Criminalizing gay sex among consenting adults in private is a violation of fundamental rights, Vahanvati said, reported The Times of India.

Last month, government lawyer, PP Malhotra,said gay sex was ‘highly immoral and against societal order’.

The home ministry subsequently issued a statement distancing themselves from Malhotra’s statement, saying it was a ‘miscommunication’ and he was reading from the wrong file.

Vahanvati said although the government had opposed dilution of the gay sex ban law, Section 377, as far as consensual relations in private was concerned, it later realized that the high court verdict was correct and had enlightened the government.

But the court has criticized the government for its ‘casual’ and neutral position on the issue, saying it was concerned parliament was not discussing it.

‘They have taken this case very casually. This practice needs to be condemned and we are going to say it in our judgment,’ the bench had observed.

Section 377, an old colonial law which outlawed same-sex relationships and made them punishable by a 10-year jail term, was overturned in 2009.

However, the debate returned to the court in January, with anti-gay activists, political and social groups arguing for the 148-year-old law to be reinstated.

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