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Indian politicians criticise Supreme Court’s decision to ban gay sex

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  1. I think economic sanctions should be imposed on India until this is repealed.

    Along with a boycott of all Indian goods and service.

    1. I could understand trying to do this to the individuals involved, but I don’t see why plenty of poor Indians should suffer economic sanctions due to the whims of their judicial system.

      Should we boycott all American goods and services for their foreign policy excursions and their prison-industrial complex? Should we boycott South African and Brazilian goods and services for their endemic corruption? Spain’s clamping down on freedom of association, maybe they deserve a bit too. I can even think of plenty of reasons to boycott ourselves!

      Look at what happened in Iraq and Iran. Sanctions against officials are one thing, but widespread economic sanctions just brought pain and suffering (and in Iraq’s case hundreds of thousands of deaths) to people who were nothing to do with the problem.

    2. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 1:23pm

      Seconding what lalocura said, I’d also note that many analysis consider that sanctions are an ineffective action in any case.

    3. john lyttle 11 Dec 2013, 4:27pm

      I think that might punish the poor and not a great deal more

  2. Helge Vladimir Tiller 11 Dec 2013, 12:16pm

    Yes, politicians, let Your protests grow ! Make it a storm, a hurricane Your society has never seen before. You serve humanity and progression in this hard world. I promise, we will all watch you, from Norway, where I live- to the most remote distrcts in other parts of our common globe. There is only one option : Forwards. Love !

  3. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 11 Dec 2013, 12:25pm

    JUST IN

    Add : – “India”. [to the list of countries never to visit or to have a holiday, marriage honeymoon, etc.]

    1. The following three things should happen now for what iNdia has just done:

      1. Trade Sanctions;
      2. Money Sanctions; and
      3. Boycotts Of Any Kind On Goods And Services.

      1. Really, trade sanctions and boycotts for India now, but not before? And why not start with Saudi Arabia and Nigeria?

  4. Derek Williams 11 Dec 2013, 12:27pm

    How will India be able to handle the millions of arrests necessary to enforce this reinstated law? The jails are already full. It will take millions of people out of employment, reducing the tax take and return thousands of adopted children to orphanages.
    Now homosexual relationships are illegal again, it only takes one homophobe to call the cops. I would strongly advise gay and lesbian couples to cancel their holiday plans in India. Who wants to risk being woken up in the middle of the night by police and end up spending the next 10 years in jail?
    That’s the conundrum. Do we go there and put ourselves in harm’s way, risking arrest, or to show the heterosexual majority they’ve nothing to fear, that they’re far more of a threat to gay people than we are to them?

    1. You are missing out the root cause of problems.
      1. Indian society is highly hetrosexual
      2. Indian society are broadminded and there is rarely a case where a gay or lesbian is penalized for crimes even in past
      3. The Supreme court works with law. India still follow old british law. A high court in past had decriminalized gay relationship which is not possible until legislation formulate a new law
      4. Indian society although tolerant don’t accept gays relationship. Its highly unlikely that govt would want to go against middleaged and old citizens of India who find it weird , symbol of western openness

      5. Lastly Indian new generation although highly hetrosexual are not against gays, lesbians. They are not an Islamic country. So everything remains same :)

  5. Chritopher in Canada 11 Dec 2013, 12:32pm

    Well, Russia will allow them to adopt their orphans…

  6. A primitive country like india, that wants to remain enslaved to laws that shackle them to colonialism, where misogyny is rampant, it’s hardly a surprise that they hate LGBT also.

  7. de Villiers 11 Dec 2013, 1:12pm

    I have just read the judgment here: http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=41070
    .
    The Court appears not to have accepted an argument that gay sex should be banned – merely that the High Court had no power to strike down the law according to the Indian Constitution. Its final paragraph stated:
    .
    While parting with the case, we would like to make it clear that this Court has merely pronounced on the correctness of the view taken by the Delhi High Court on the constitutionality of Section 377 IPC and found that the said section does not suffer from any constitutional infirmity. Notwithstanding this verdict, the competent legislature shall be free to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section 377 IPC from the statute book or amend the same as per the suggestion made by the Attorney General.

    1. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 1:29pm

      Yep, just as in this country it is only the politicians who may change the law. The Supreme Court’s job is simply to uphold the law as it stands.

      What has happened ought to prompt politicians to do their job, which they have neglected to do during the last decade; the previous High Court ruling a decade ago has merely sidelined the issue, and in failing to properly overturn this shameful piece of legislation India’s leaders have been complacent.

      I would hope that pressure from their allies will encourage India’s politicians to show that their country believes in fairness and justice for all its citizens.

      1. As I replied to De Villiers in the other article, the constitution guarantees equality:

        “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”

        Therefore the Supreme Court already had grounds upon which to uphold the previous court ruling. The court’s job is to uphold the constitution when politicians won’t, and so politicians shouldn’t have to be prompted to pursue decriminalisation through the legislative route. Unfortunately due to the court’s ruling it seems like that’s now the only option.

        1. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 3:00pm

          You are missing the point of the judgement; two wrongs do not make a right. The are not saying Section 377 IPC is fair, they are ruling that if you want to get rid of it, you need to get rid of it in a legitimate manner.

          I believe – like you – that they are wrong in their comment that the law as it stands is constitutional. It may they state this in this context because it would have been added via legitimate process but to my mind that is a different question.

          The implementation of the constitution is defined by the law. As the SC themselves note, the politicians have the power to change it, and it is they who need to face up to that responsibility.

        2. de Villiers 11 Dec 2013, 3:07pm

          I think that the court was saying that everyone was equal under the law and had the law’s equal protections – that the law on sodomy applied to everyone equally. It also reviewed the English and American legal decisions on this.

          In all case, the Supreme Court has not “decided to ban gay sex”. It has allowed an appeal of the High Court. It is the Parliament that has permitted the ban on gay sex to continue. Although the result is a shame, perhaps the political route will prove more solid.

          1. Thanks to both of you for the replies.

            @Midnighter: I’m not sure I’m missing the point of the judgment but perhaps I am. By declaring that it’s up to parliament to change the law, it seems to me either:

            (a) they’re declaring the law constitutional, and it’s only by taking that view that the court effectively takes the decision out of its own hands. (Since we seem to agree it’s not constitutional, I’m not sure exactly what it is we differ on).

            (b) They’re saying the High Court decision was procedurally flawed. The nature of the decision (“it’s up to parliament”) disputes that this was the finding, but that may be my misconception from the press reporting.

            @de Villiers: The code prohibited “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. To suggest this applies to people of all sexualities equally, especially when the High Court ruling referenced the rights of privacy and family life as well as equality, seems willfully oblique of the Supreme Court.

          2. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 4:24pm

            @lalocura

            re a) Oh no I don’t think we differ, I was merely trying to interpret the rationalisation of the ruling which I personally think is a cowardly and unjust one.

            It seems the judgment risks conflating two issues:
            - Issue 1 is the legitimacy of the HC ruling
            - Issue 2 is the constitutionality of the original Sec 377 IPC law.

            As I said, I certainly don’t agree with the SC’s finding on Issue 2, but I do agree on Issue 1 in as much as I would prefer to see the legislative foundation for equality to be rock solid, which it really wasn’t.

            Personally I feel that the SC have bowed to pressure from the conservative religious mob and have hidden behind a technicality, in that In considering Issue 1 in this way , they are also working to “uphold the constitution”.

            re b) I’m not seeing the contradiction: they seem to be stating that the HC decision was not the legitimate way to overturn the existing ban, whereas a parliamentary change to the law would be legitimate.

          3. Thanks for the reply.

            It just doesn’t make sense to me any which way that a constitutional court would overturn a law deemed unconstitutional on the grounds that’s it’s not up to the courts to rule on such things but for parliament to decide. It begs the question of the court’s existence, surely. In that instance it’s not a balance on the power of the legislature, it’s just a bit of glorified administration.

            From the point of view of any potential progress from here, despite the spectre of the forthcoming elections the response amongst some of the media and political class has been encouraging (if you remember the wall of [mostly] stunned silence that met the 2009 ruling), to the extent that when the elections are done with it might be seen as expedient for India’s international image to get moving with legalisation.

    2. Frank Boulton 13 Dec 2013, 9:28am

      In its ruling, the Supreme Court said, “Notwithstanding this verdict, the competent legislature shall be free to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section 377 IPC from the statute book or amend the same as per the suggestion made by the Attorney General.” It might not have the power to tell politicians what changes to make to the law but these words seem to be sending a very strong encouragement to the politicians to repeal Section 377 IPC. These words don’t fix the problem but they certainly offer some hope.

  8. Gay sex is no “sex against the order of nature” so strictly speaking this law shouldn’t concern gay people. But of course that is not how it is with these morons. It sadly never is cause they have a completely distorted, crazy view on nature.

    1. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 1:35pm

      Sadly those views are largely the fault of we British, and a significant part of the opposing views stem from the infection of westernised religious views which have become well established in India in the years since.

      1. Yes but wouldn’t you have thought, on gaining independence, that they’d have wanted to rid themselves of any laws which were introduced by their colonisers?

        1. One would almost think they weren’t thinking rationally. Whatever could be the cause?

  9. re-decriminalization unlikely because elections!
    Ah, the ever beloved speed of bureaucracy. :c

    1. You mean democracy, no?

      1. Frank Boulton 13 Dec 2013, 9:35am

        He definitely means “bureaucracy”, yet another unwanted gift that we British bestowed upon India!

  10. India is such a messed up place.

    Consensual gay sex is a crime yet public gang rape is largely ignored.

    Hundreds of milliions live in abject poverty and degradation yet they have a space programme.

    Awful country.

    1. john lyttle 11 Dec 2013, 2:37pm

      Well, condemning an entire country struggling towards modernity on the basis of its reactionary elements is pretty awful too. Specially as the younger generation there have led the titanic backlash against rape, public, gang or otherwise. Let’s consider this one of the last gasps of the old guard, given the stinging and almost unprecedented reaction against its rank bigotry and stupidity.

  11. john lyttle 11 Dec 2013, 2:32pm

    India’s Supreme Court bans gay sex.

    Good luck with that.

  12. This is beyond disgraceful and so upsetting for the Indian LGBT members who felt safe enough to come out of the closet and will now have to go back into hiding.
    I’ve started a petition to the Indian Supreme Court here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/indian-supreme-court-protect-human-rights-repeal-the-ban-on-gay-sex

  13. The issue seems to be one of the different courts – Supreme Court v Delhi High Court – squabbling among themselves about the extent of their powers, part of a Byzantine legal system inherited from the British (and subsequently left unmodernised, it would appear). Given the snail’s pace political change can occur in India it’s certainly an unwelcome setback.

    Let’s hope there’s enough of an outcry that’ll give them a good kick to bring about real change.

    1. no, Rehan. The Supreme Court (both in India and here) is what it says on its tin – and trumps the High Court (also there and here). No squabble. And not the Judges’ fault. The law is the law (there and here) and all they have done is say what it is. They cannot change it (nor can they here, however high the court). As they have said, it is a matter for legislation, and would be equally so here. It is the politicians now who need to be approached (I think I mean hounded!) to create change. The pressure points are obvious and tested.

      1. Thanks Andrew. So what I don’t understand then is, why did the Delhi High Court do what it did in 2009?

    2. john lyttle 11 Dec 2013, 4:28pm

      Fascinating and informative post. Thanks.

  14. Please signt the petition on change.org:

    https://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/restore-equal-rights

    Let’s convince the Government of India to change the law. Thank you.

  15. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Dec 2013, 4:52pm

    It’s about time Commonwealth reform took place. Boot out any with oppressive human rights violations which this clearly is and cut off all aid. They’ve had long enough to clean up their act and we shouldn’t tolerate it.

  16. The anti-gay laws were first introduced by the British. Wouldn’t you have thought that India, on gaining independence, would have wanted to ditch ALL laws imposed on it by its former colonisers? Countries of the world need to grow-up and stop allowing pathetic Judeo-Christian / Muslim man-made dogma to prevent consenting adults from loving who the hell they want. To do otherwise is simple bigotry and delusional thinking.

  17. Some people criticises homophobia using xenophobic comments, in the ending you are as bigot as the homophobic.

    1. Sorry – don’t get your point. How is it xenophobic to criticise a country for retaining outdated, discriminatory laws which persecute sections of their own society? The ‘people’ of a country ARE ‘the country’. Without people, countries don’t exist. So, ‘the people’ have it in their power to change things for the better. To criticise them for inaction is NOT being xenophobic.

  18. Cancel all your holidays ,trips to India . Boycott all indian products .Support all LGBT brothers in india please ……

  19. A return to a better yesterday when India’s people were second class coolies for the Brits.

    1. “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
      Seems clear to anyone with a fully working brain and a grasp of their subject unless they are living in an uneducated and bigoted past.
      They can appeal the decision to the full court and should do so!
      They have just relagated a whole section of the population of India to be outside the law for natural and normal behaviour which harms no one, and exposes millions to blackmail, persecution by police for consensual behaviour, with increased corruption and bribery already rife within India,

  20. One more backward country to avoid and take off the bucket list. Do they have any idea how many gays and lesbians travel? I feel for the LGBT’s living in India.

  21. I was lucky enough …just one day away from booking my flight to India for my january 17 days Holidays. Thanks God i am not going to that primitive country where they treat Gays like animals. I am not gonna spend single penny from my pocket in that country . I cancelled all my hotel bookings got everything refunded . Instead of that i am flying to Banghok .

  22. xlntgson 2 Feb, 9:49am

    Pack off! Gay sex tourism is unwanted in India euphemism for abuse of boy sex and sodomy!

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