India’s Supreme court made an incendiary decision to uphold a 153-year- old law that was made back in the times of the British raj; a “homosexuality ban that criminalizes gay sex, leaving it up to lawmakers to amend the legislation in a setback for homosexual rights in the world’s second-most populated country.” India’s population is currently more than 1 billion.
The Wall Street Journal Reported that People across India have been shocked by the decision. Most legal experts and activists had expected the country’s highest court to uphold the landmark decision, which had been seen as a crucial first step in empowering India’s gay community.
The judgment turned back a “2009 verdict of the lower Delhi High Court that decriminalized same-sex intercourse between consenting adults in the nation’s capital.” Bloomberg reports that the Supreme Court’s “complied with the constitution and that only the parliament can make any changes.
According to the Human Rights Watch considers that this law constitutes the purest form of infringement that disregards the “fundamental rights provided under the constitution, and called on the Indian government to act immediately to restore those rights.
While there haven’t been many people prosecuted over this law, gay and lesbians have understood that corrupt practices and extortion come along with a large amount of harassment regarding the lack of protections that this law enables in society. Interestingly, while the ban was being lifted, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious groups all “argued that the prohibition protected public health and morals.” According to a BBC report last year, India has 2.5 million gay people the government told the court.
Different NGOs working to combat health problems and AIDS have come under fire and have been terrorized. The ban’s lifting was seen as a step forward, however millions of citizens note that “India is on the world stage and is taking a step backwards.”
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