July 17, 2018

India’s High Court Could Soon Strike Down Colonial-era Law Outlawing Gay Sex

India’s highest court is currently hearing arguments against a 157-year-old law that says gay sex is a crime and “against the order of nature”–and could soon strike the anti-LGBT law down.

The law, referred to as Section 377, was introduced by the British colonizers in 1861 and strictly forbids intercourse and all other sexual activities between non-heterosexual people. It is just one of the many anti-gay laws enacted by the British across their many former colonies–many still exist to this day.

In 2009, Section 377 had been struck down by India’s Supreme Court only to be reinstituted by the same court four years later.

The argument from the judges for the bills reinstitution stated that LGBT only makes up a fraction of the Indian population, that queer people don’t face any discrimination under the law, and that fewer than 200 people had been prosecuted for gay sex in the last 150 years.

But subsequent rulings by the court, which offered rights and protections to transgender people and also established privacy as a fundamental right, set the stage for the possible second overturning of Section 377.

The petitioners at the court in favor of striking down the anti-gay sex legislation reflect a growing trend of openness towards LGBTQ communities among young Indians.

Read the full story here.

For expert legal assistance concerning Thai family law, contact the seasoned Thailand and US lawyers at Chaninat & Leeds.

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