Last edited: September 06, 2004

India’s Highest Court Says no Grounds for Legalizing Homosexual Acts

“Indian society…disapproves of homosexuality”– government, September 2, 2004

DELHI—The India Supreme Court has refused to lift a 141 year-old criminal penalty against homosexual behavior. The Court ruling was in response to a petition brought by the Naz Foundation, a homosexual activist organization that promotes and attempts to legalize homosexual behavior in South Asia. Under Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, such acts are deemed ‘unnatural criminal behavior’ in India, a country which largely holds traditional beliefs on the uses and meaning of sexuality.

The court found against the petitioners saying that the “validity of a law” cannot be challenged by anyone who is “not affected by it.” The battle is not over however since lawyers are now preparing to investigate exactly what this phrase actually means.

 The Naz Foundation, based in London, England, says that its mandate is to “ensure that issues of sexualities and all type of sexual practices, with the HIV/AIDS and human rights concerns that arise from them, are appropriately and adequately addressed in the provision of HIV/AIDS and sexual health services.” The same language of ‘human rights’ has been used to justify the abolition of laws prohibiting homosexual behavior in most countries of the world. Various United Nations organizations are in the forefront of the push to use these terms to legalize homosexuality and the destruction of the traditional family all over the world.

A lawyer arguing the case for the government said, “Indian society, by and large, disapproves of homosexuality and justifies it being treated as a criminal offence even when adults indulge in private.” He also argued that the law was rarely used to prosecute homosexuals but was often used to punish sexual abuse of children and to support other laws against rape.

The recent murder of a homosexual and the young man he was with has raised the profile of homosexuality in the Indian media. 38-year-old Pushkin Chandra, an officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was stabbed to death on August 14 and police are still investigating. Media coverage has focused on his seuxal behavior.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, a former cabinet minister and spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), warned that if Article 377 were abolished it could have the effect of increased sexual abuse of street children.

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