India Considers Abolishing Sodomy Laws
June 27, 2002 http://www.advocate.com/new_news.asp?id=4844&sd=06/27/02
Gay rights activists in India expressed hope Wednesday that the government
will soon strike down laws that make homosexual acts between consenting adults
punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
"Draconian Indian laws governing homosexuality are being challenged in
the Delhi high court," said Shaleen Rakesh, a member of the gay rights
group Naz Foundation. "There have been several hearings, and we are
confident the government will respond positively by amending the law."
Rakesh said the foundation is expecting a change of heart by the court or the
government by the next hearing, on August 26.
The Naz Foundation filed a petition challenging the sodomy laws in December
after some of its members were harassed by police for handing out safe-sex
brochures in northern India. Mukul Rohtagi, the government legal
representative, told the Delhi high court on Monday that the state is
"examining the legal, social, and ethical aspects of decriminalizing
homosexual acts among consenting adults."
The Indian law on homosexuality was enacted by British colonial rulers in
1860 and prescribes up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both for anyone
found guilty of "carnal intercourse against order of nature."
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