India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Overturn Sodomy Laws
September 3, 2004
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
New Delhi—A motion to have
India’s laws against gay sex declared invalid has been dismissed by the
Supreme Court in New Delhi.
The laws date back to the time of English colonial rule,
but in the years since the British left sodomy laws have been repealed in the
UK, but remained in place in India.
The law describes homosexual acts as “unnatural
criminal behavior”. Anyone convicted under the law is subject to prison.
The legal challenge was brought by several LGBT civil
rights in India, but the court said that the law could only be challenged by
someone charged under it.
The petitioners said that police use the law to harass
Lawyers for the government argued that homosexuality
cannot be legalized in India because society strongly disapproves of it.
“Indian society, by and large, disapproves of
homosexuality and justifies it being treated as a criminal offence even when
adults indulge in private,” said a government lawyer.
The government also said that abolishing the law could
result in an increase in delinquent behavior.
“While the right to respect for private and family
life is undisputed, interference by public authority in the interest of public
safety and protection of health and morals is equally permissible.”
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