Main | Thursday, July 02, 2009

Indian High Court Legalizes Homosexuality In New Dehli

In a ruling that is only binding in the National Capital Territory (for now), the Delhi High Court has decriminalized homosexuality in a decision with sweeping implications for one of the world's largest gay populations.

Rex Wockner has done an excellent analysis of the decision. An excerpt:
What about the rest of India? It certainly carries weight there but is, at the moment, legally binding only in the National Capital Territory. What could happen next is that (A) the national government could appeal the ruling to India's Supreme Court, (B) the national government could accept the ruling and not appeal it, (C) the national government could accept the ruling and use it as ammo to introduce a bill in Parliament to duplicate the ruling in national law, and/or (D) anti-gay parties to the lawsuit could appeal to the Supreme Court. Regardless, gay sex is now legal in India's National Capital Territory and, as the Queer Media Collective put it: "This is the first time a court as senior as this, with such respected judges, has given a decision on homosexuality. Because of that it sends a powerful signal to the legal establishment across the country. We are confident that judges, lawyers and police officers across the country will understand and follow the Delhi High Court's lead."
The most damning bit of the ruling: "The criminalisation of homosexuality condemns in perpetuity a sizable section of society and forces them to live their lives in the shadow of harassment, exploitation, humiliation, cruel and degrading treatment at the hands of the law enforcement machinery."

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