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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

India Reinstates Ban on Gay Sexual Relations; Threatens Prison for Violators

  • (Photo: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)
    A gay rights activist folds a banner at a protest organised against the Supreme Court's order on gay sex in Mumbai December 11, 2013.
December 11, 2013|11:35 am

The Supreme Court of India ruled on Wednesday to reinstate a ban on gay sexual relations, threatening violators with up to 10 years in jail.

The Supreme Court decided to overturn a 2009 Delhi High Court decision which ruled as unconstitutional a section of the penal code dating back to 1860 that prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal," Reuters reported. The judges decided that only the parliament can change this certain section.

"It's a black day for us," said Anjali Gopalan, the executive director of the Naz Foundation, in support of gay rights. "I feel exhausted right now, thinking that we have been set back by 100 years."

Protests in favor of gay rights were reportedly held in Delhi, with many Indians going to Facebook to express their support for the gay community.

The largely conservative society of India, a predominantly Hindu nation, had spoken out against the lower court's move to decriminalize gay sex acts. India Today reported that a number of the country's minority religious organizations, including All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Utkal Christian Council and Apostolic Churches Alliance, had also spoken out against it.

Others opposing the verdict were The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munn Kazhgam, SD Pritinidhi Sabha, Joint Action Council, and Raza Academy.

Baba Ramdev, described as a "controversial but popular" Hindu spiritual leader, said that the Supreme Court's decision honors the wishes of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians who believe in morality.

"Today they are talking about men having sexual relationships with men, women with women; tomorrow they will talk of sexual relationships with animals," Ramdev warned.

The Hindu leader, who says he has over 20 million supporters in the world's second largest country, has strongly advocated for the ban on gay sexual relations to stay in place, and has warned that lifting the ban would result in the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in the country.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/india-reinstates-ban-on-gay-sexual-relations-threatens-prison-for-violators-110538/