RadioBDC Logo
Miss Atomic Bomb | The Killers Listen Live
THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Indian gov't clarifies it accepts gay sex is legal

February 28, 2012
Text size +
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

NEW DELHI—The Indian government Tuesday clarified to the Supreme Court that it accepts a recent ruling legalizing gay sex in the country.

A lawyer told the Supreme Court that the government would not challenge a 2009 order by the Delhi High Court striking down a colonial-era law that made gay sex a crime.

The order was appealed by conservative groups and the Supreme Court is now hearing opinions from those groups as well as gay rights activists.

The latest statement comes days after another government lawyer told the court that gay sex was "highly immoral" and should be banned. The government quickly denied that lawyer's statement, prompting confusion about its stance on the law.

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court justice asked the government's lawyers to file an affidavit to reconcile the two divergent positions heard in court. Neither lawyer explained Thursday's confusion.

The 2009 high court order had said that treating consensual gay sex between adults as a crime was a violation of fundamental rights protected by India's constitution.

Sex between people of the same gender had been illegal in India since the 1860s, when a British colonial law classified it as "against the order of nature."

Prosecutions were rare, but the law was used frequently to harass people.

Over the last decade, homosexuals have slowly gained a degree of acceptance in some parts of India, especially its big cities. The last two years have also seen large gay pride parades in New Delhi and other big cities, including Mumbai and Kolkata.

Still, being gay remains deeply taboo in most of the country, and many gays and lesbians hide their sexual orientation from friends and relatives.

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

Boston.com top stories on Twitter

    waiting for twitterWaiting for Twitter to feed in the latest...