Posts Tagged 'Article 377'

India Supreme Court Upholds Sodomy Law

Repost from BuzzFeed by J. Lester Feder

The top court in the world’s second-largest nation says it’s up to parliament to decide on undoing the law criminalizing same-sex intercourse. This is “a major setback to LGBT rights,” says the legal group that brought the case. Updated with details from the written judgement.

After a 12 year legal battle, the Supreme Court of India overruled a lower court ruling striking down a law criminalizing consensual same-sex intercourse on Wednesday morning.

The Supreme Court has set aside the sweeping 2009 ruling of the Delhi High Court that struck down the sodomy law, known as Section 377, and referred the question to parliament.

The legal organization that brought the case, the Lawyers Collective, tweeted from the courtroom that this is a “major setback to LGBT rights.”

Since the Delhi High Court ruled the law unconstitutional in 2009, its enforcement has been suspended throughout India. Today’s ruling means people can once again be arrested and prosecuted for “unnatural offenses” in the world’s second largest nation. Continue Reading

Human Rights Day 2010

A New Passage to India: Can the U.S. and India Forge a Human Rights Partnership on LGBT Rights?

By Arvind Narrain and Mark Bromley

President Obama described his journey to India last month as the dawn of “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”  And when confronted by human rights abuse, he reminded, “it is the responsibility of the international community—especially leaders like the United States and India—to condemn it.”

On this Human Rights Day (December 10), our countries should commit to a new partnership to protect those who are persecuted worldwide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  This is the latest chapter in the modern human rights struggle, and in Obama’s words, it is time to “put aside old habits and attitudes.”

The United States and India are late in joining the struggle.  Our courts propelled us forward, through legal decisions in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 and in the High Court of Delhi in 2009 that invalidated homosexual sodomy laws in each country. We now have an opportunity to turn those legal battles into larger human rights commitments, and to use them to frame difficult dialogues with other countries that continue to oppress their LGBT citizens. Continue Reading


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