The homosexual community in India has endured a long battle for legitimacy. But the nation’s Supreme Court just sent their fight back to square one.
The Supreme Court ruled that a 2009 Delhi High Court ban on criminalising homosexuality couldn’t be sustained, and that it was up to Parliament to change the law, not the courts. Gay rights activists who’d gathered outside awaiting the decision were stunned and saddened, as they had expected an endorsement of the earlier ruling.
The decision sends India back to colonial-era justice and makes gay sex between consenting adults a criminal offence under an antiquated law, which gay rights advocates say police use as they wish to harass members of the gay community.
Unfortunately Parliament may take its time deciding the issue due to an upcoming election, but this has not deterred activists from pressing for an end to such oppressive discrimination.
Ask that Parliament not waste any more time killing India’s outdated anti-gay laws.
We, the undersigned, say India’s Supreme Court shirked its duty in failing to uphold the Dehli High Court’s 2009 ruling decriminalising homosexuality.
Solicitor General Indira Jaising told the press that "People expect the highest court of the land to protect their rights,” and he questioned why the Supreme Court would turn the issue of homosexuality over to Parliament when it does judicial review of many other issues.
Unfortunately law minister Kapil Sibal expressed an attitude of insensitivity to the issue that indicates Parliament is in no hurry to address India’s outdated and tyrannical laws.
Though Sibal defends the Supreme Court’s “prerogative” to decide the constitutionality of the 19th century law, he seems to ignore the fact that the vast majority of nations have judged that criminalising same-sex relations is wrong.
We request that Parliament not waste any more time killing India’s outdated anti-gay laws.
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