Indian NGO files review petition against anti-gay sex ruling

Naz Foundation is seeking a stay on the Supreme Court’s judgment

Indian NGO files review petition against anti-gay sex ruling
25 December 2013

The NGO that drove the Delhi High Court to allow consensual adult gay sex in 2009 is now taking on the Indian Supreme Court.

Naz Foundation, an NGO committed to bringing down HIV, filed on Tuesday a review petition in the Supreme Court against its recent ruling that set aside the lower court’s order of decriminalizing homosexuality.

The move came shortly after the judge who ruled in Naz’s favor more than four years ago expressed his sadness for the LGBTI community.

Naz said the apex court’s judgment was against the grain of its own jurisprudence on advancement of fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals, especially those who faced marginalization in society.

‘It completely dismisses jurisprudence from all over the world and international human rights law on sexual orientation and gender identity,’ said Naz.

‘Reliance on the principles of judicial restraint and Parliament’s prerogative to change laws is misplaced, when the law has been challenged for violation of fundamental rights of individuals.’

Seeking an interim stay on the judgment, Naz said criminalization of same sex activity by up to 10 years impeded access to health services.

The judgment was also ‘contrary’ to well-settled legal principles of the constitution, and proscribing certain sexual acts between consenting adults in private demeaned and impaired the dignity of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, said Naz according to The Hindu.

Naz and other activists fear that gays and trans people will go underground again and become too fearful to seek HIV infection treatment or counselling.

Indian health officials said last year that annual new infections among adults had fallen 57 percent over the previous decade, according to the Associated Press.

For religious leaders, however, homosexuality in itself is a root cause for the spread of HIV. They have praised the Supreme Court’s decision.

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