Last edited: December 05, 2004

Gays Pressure India Over Anti-Gay Law U.K., September 15, 2003

The Indian government has come under attack from gay rights groups over its refusal to decriminalize homosexuality.

Last week the government told its courts that it had no intention to ditch section 377 of the Penal Code, which says gay people can face up to 10 years in prison.

It added that homosexuality was against the beliefs of the majority of the country, and therefore shouldn’t be legalized.

However, civil rights groups have told the country’s media that the government is clinging to an archaic and prejudiced law, which is embarrassing for the country.

The existing law is also dangerous for gay men, they claim.

“The government’s stand makes gay men vulnerable to extortion, abuse and violence, said gay activist Ashtok Row Kavi, as cited by Mumbai-based

Overall, the government is facing increasing pressure to relax its position on gay and lesbian rights.

Last week, AIDS welfare groups in the country said that police brutality and the illegality of gay sex are restricting many men from coming forward to receive information on how to protect themselves from the disease.

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