Pakistan bans Bollywood “gay” buddy movie
The High Court in Lahore has issued ban on an Indian film after a petitioner claimed it “propogates homosexuality.”
Dostana, which is hyped as Bollywood’s first gay-themed comedy, cannot be shown anywhere in Pakistan as a result of Friday’s court ruling.
The judge ordered that a copy of the script be prepared for a later hearing and that the Pakistan Film Censor Board should block any screenings.
Dostana is similar in plot to last year’s Hollywood effort I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Two Indian men in Miami pretend to be a gay couple to rent an apartment, and later to gain an immigration permit.
The slapstick comedy of errors has a cameo from Big Brother contestant Shilpa Shetty.
There is no actual gay relationship, but the two male leads share a kiss and it is being hailed as a breakthrough in Indian cinema.
“Dostana is a fun way to pave the way eventually for a Bollywood Brokeback Mountain-type film,” producer Karan Johar said.
It is the first Bollywood film entirely set in Miami – it would be unrealistic to set Dostana in India as homosexual acts are illegal there.
Last week the High Court in Delhi finished hearing arguments in a suit brought by gay rights activists seeking to overturn a colonial-era law banning “unnatural sex.”
Chief Justice AP Shah has reserved judgement and asked both sides to submit transcripts of their oral arguments.
The government of India has been arguing for the retention of Section 377, the law that criminalises same-sex acts.
Section 377 was enacted in 1860 under the British Raj in line with the anti-sodomy laws in England at the time.
The law punishes anyone who “voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” by imprisonment and criminalises a whole range of sexual acts from mutual masturbation, to fellatio and anal sex.