Advertisement

India Supreme Court upholds old law that gay sex is criminal offense

India Supreme Court upholds old law that gay sex is criminal offense
Indian police officers talk together near a beach in Mumbai, India. (UPI Photo/Mohammad Kheirkhah) | License Photo

NEW DELHI, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The Indian Supreme Court Wednesday reversed a 2009 lower court order and upheld an old law making sex between homosexuals a criminal offense.

The ruling, a setback for gay rights activists, set aside the 2009 New Delhi high court order decriminalizing sex between consenting persons of same sex. The existing law, which dates back to the 19th century, says such sexual acts are "against the order of nature."

Advertisement

The high court, without taking a stand, said the 2009 lower court order cannot be constitutionally sustained, saying only Parliament can change current law.

A large crowd of gay rights activist who had gathered outside the court expressed disappointment, the Press Trust of India News Agency reported. A gay rights group said it would seek a review of the ruling.

Under current law, any violation can result a possible 10 years in jail. Gay rights activists claim police use the law to harass their members.

"It is for the Legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of the IPC [Indian Penal Code]," the court said.

The ruling came after appeals against the lower court order were filed by various social and religious organizations, claiming gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country, the Times of India reported.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement