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16 Jul 2018

Supreme Court in India Reconsiders Law Banning Homosexuality

The hearings could repeal Section 377 of the country’s penal code.

India's Supreme Court has started a series of hearings examining Section 377, which makes homosexuality illegal, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
After many petitions calling for the law to be reconsidered, a panel of five judges is now looking into repealing the colonial-era statute. The petitioners include a 19-year-old student and a gay man, now aged 47, who was arrested in 2001 under the statute and reportedly tortured.
In 2009, the law was briefly struck down, but four years later reinstated in the penal code. Homosexuality can be punished with a sentence of up to 10 years in jail in India.
The current hearings could mark the end of a two-decade struggle to decriminalise homosexuality.
 
Advocates are optimistic, citing a more pro-LGBT climate particularly among health organisations. The Indian Psychiatry Society has publicly stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and last year India saw many LGBT-friendly judgments passed, including protection of the right to privacy, which includes one's sexual orientation.

India's Supreme Court has started a series of hearings examining Section 377, which makes homosexuality illegal, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

After many petitions calling for the law to be reconsidered, a panel of five judges is now looking into repealing the colonial-era statute. The petitioners include a 19-year-old student and a gay man, now aged 47, who was arrested in 2001 under the statute and reportedly tortured.

In 2009, the law was briefly struck down, but four years later reinstated in the penal code. Homosexuality can be punished with a sentence of up to 10 years in jail in India.

The current hearings could mark the end of a two-decade struggle to decriminalise homosexuality.

Advocates are optimistic, citing a more pro-LGBT climate particularly among health organisations. The Indian Psychiatry Society has publicly stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and last year India saw many LGBT-friendly judgments passed, including protection of the right to privacy, which includes one's sexual orientation.

India

Reader's Comments

1. 2018-07-17 03:44  
Good to see India is thinking about getting aboard the 21st Century Train!!!
ALL ABOARD!!!!
2. 2018-07-18 17:28  
A terrible legacy of the British that should have been abolished along with the caste system.

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