I was shocked and dismayed when I received the news that India has re-criminalized same sex relationships. On Dec 11, 2013, the Republic of India Supreme Court overruled the 2009 landmark decision of the High court. Although I was aware that the 2009 victory has been challenged in the court by some religious bigots and politicians, I thought the Judiciary has made remarkable progress in human rights and wouldn’t think to take such a step backward.
In 2009, the Indian High Court ruled that the 19th-century provision of the penal code that prohibits people from engaging in “carnal acts against the order of nature” should not apply to consenting adults, including same-sex couples. Religious groups challenged the ruling, claiming that homosexuality is a Western import that hurts Indian society and family values.
The 2009 High court decision in favour of consensual same sex adult relationships had put India on a high pedestal in regards to the defense of sexual minorities’ rights. I did not think the Supreme Court was going to reverse the outstanding judgment. In fact I did not think there could ever be a good reason to reverse a decision which condemned discrimination and supports equality for all. But it just did. [Read more...]