Indian slam official hypocrisy over gay sex legalization

Indians have slammed their government for both supporting and appealing against the court decision which decriminalized gay sex

Indian slam official hypocrisy over gay sex legalization
24 February 2012 Print This Article

LGBT Indians have dismissed as hypocrisy statements from the government about its stance on the legality of gay sex.

In an ongoing case in the Supreme Court challenging the decriminalization of gay sex, government lawyer PP Malhotra on Thursday (23 February) urged it to ‘ban gay sex in the country’, arguing that same-sex relations were ‘highly immoral and against societal order’.

Appearing for the home ministry, Malhotra was there to help examine the appeal case against a 2009 high court decision brought by anti-gay rights campaigners.

But the home ministry quickly released a statement distancing itself from his remarks, arguing that he was reading from an old statement out of ‘miscommunication’. It reiterated a previous cabinet decision not to appeal.

Soon after the news broke, Facebook and Twitter were flooded with updates criticizing the government.

Deepak Kashyap, an LGBT member, berated the official inconsistency for threatening the community’s rights, reported the Hindustan Times.

‘No free country can allow any government to tell us whom should fall in love and live with,’ said Kashyap. ‘The government should consider itself to be safe guardians of all its citizens, and not control us by continuing to talk about our personal choices.’

Gay-rights activist Harish Iyer, meanwhile, said he was not shocked by the initial reports, noting the official stand has stayed unchanged over the past four years.

According to The Telegraph, the root of the confusion on Thursday lies in the home ministry’s refusal to take a stand, unlike the health ministry that has supported legalizing homosexuality.

As a whole, the government has been tiptoeing around the issue in the face of the reservations expressed by clerics from various religions, hoping that the court will bail it out by taking a decision, the Calcuttan newspaper reported.

In 2009, the Delhi high court scrapped Section 377 of the colonial Indian Penal Code that defined homosexual acts as 'carnal intercourse against the order of nature'.

The court posted the current appeal case for further hearing on this coming Tuesday.

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