Tuesday, February 28, 2012

India Gov't Accepts Sodomy Legalization Ruling

The long strange story of India's sodomy law appears to be coming to a close with the demise of the colonial-era prohibition on gay male sexual acts appearing to be nigh. Today the Government of India clarified that it supports the previous decision by the Delhi High Court to decriminalize sodomy, despite a declaration before the Supreme Court last week that the Government felt that gay sex is "highly immoral" which was quickly officially denied.

The Associated Press has the story:
NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian government Tuesday clarified to the Supreme Court that it accepts a recent ruling legalizing gay sex in the country.
A lawyer told the Supreme Court that the government would not challenge a 2009 order by the Delhi High Court striking down a colonial-era law that made gay sex a crime.
The order was appealed by conservative groups and the Supreme Court is now hearing opinions from those groups as well as gay rights activists.
The latest statement comes days after another government lawyer told the court that gay sex was "highly immoral" and should be banned. The government quickly denied that lawyer's statement, prompting confusion about its stance on the law.
On Tuesday, a Supreme Court justice asked the government's lawyers to file an affidavit to reconcile the two divergent positions heard in court. Neither lawyer explained Thursday's confusion.
The 2009 high court order had said that treating consensual gay sex between adults as a crime was a violation of fundamental rights protected by India's constitution.
If this decision gets confirmed it will be the single most significant advance in LGBT rights that will positively impact the most number of homosexuals in the world. India has a population which is estimated at 1.2 billion people.

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