Tuesday, April 22, 2014

India High Court To Reconsider Controversial Sodomy Ruling

Good news! The High Court of India has announced that a 5-member panel will consider its problematic December 2013 ruling that upheld India's ban on sodomy, criminalizing the sexual behavior of literally more than a hundred million people in the world's most populous democracy. The original ruling included some shockingly homophobic language, and unfortunately the two judges that signed that decision will be participating in the re-hearing.

Buzzfeed reports:
This is LGBTI rights advocates last chance to toss out the decision, which was a harsh blow after a 12-year litigation process. In January, a two-judge panel (which included one of the judges who issued the original ruling) rejected their first attempt to have the case reconsidered, what is known as a review petition. The current motion, known as a curative petition, still faces long odds, because the five-judge panel that will consider it includes the two judges who rejected the review petition. The other judges on the panel will be the three most senior judges on the court.
But the lawyers in this case got a major boost last week when a different two-judge Supreme Court panel issued a sweeping verdict recognizing broad rights for transgender people. Though the judges in the transgender rights case were careful to explicitly say they were not offering an opinion on the 377 case, their ruling reads almost like a point-by-point rebuttal to the ruling.
Recently the India High Court declared that transgender identity is a protected category.

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