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India's Supreme Court outlaws homosexual sex

The Supreme Court of India reinstated an 1861 law that bans homosexual acts, overturning a 2009 High Court ruling that had decriminalized homosexuality.

By
JC Finley
India's Supreme Court has once again outlawed homosexual sex, announced December 11, 2013. (CC/Ludovic Bertron)
India's Supreme Court has once again outlawed homosexual sex, announced December 11, 2013. (CC/Ludovic Bertron)

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- India's Supreme Court made homosexual sex illegal again after overturning a lower court ruling today that had stood for four years.

In 2009, India's High Court struck down a law that under Section 377 banned "carnal acts against the order of nature." Today, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court's ruling.

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The Supreme Court ruled that only the Parliament can overturn the 1861 law that carries a sentence of ten years imprisonment for offenders. Advocates and opponents of the law doubt that Parliament will choose to abolish the law, given the ascendancy of the conservative Hindu nationalist group Bharatiya Janata Party.

Anjali Gopalan, founder of the Naz Foundation, an NGO focused on HIV/AIDS and a petitioner in the original Delhi case, reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling: “It’s a black day for us... I feel so exhausted right now thinking we are being set back by 100 years. . . . I think it’s pathetic and sad.”

[CNN] [New York Times] [Washington Post]

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