Last edited: November 05, 2004

India Upholds Jail Sentences for Gays, November 3, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

New Delhi, India—The Delhi High Court Wednesday upheld laws that makes gay sex punishable by imprisonment.

The court dismissed a petition by an LGBT rights group seeking a judicial review of the law which dates back to British colonial times.

The Naz Foundation said that laws around the world on homosexuality have drastically changed and India is out of step. Lawyer Anil B Divan specifically pointed to the US Supreme Court ruling that overturned sodomy laws.

“Whatever is available in the US cannot be made available in India also”, the court observed.

Divan also argued that the ban on gay sex violated the Indian constitution which guarantees the rights of equality, freedom, and the right to life and liberty.

The Naz Foundation, which has an AIDS awareness program, said that the law drives gays underground making it had to educated them about HIV/AIDS. India has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world.

The government has argued that the law is necessary to protect society from “deviance”.

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