Indian court reinstates gay sex ban



India’s top court has upheld a law which criminalises gay sex, in a ruling seen as a major blow to gay rights.

BBC reports that the Supreme Court ruling reverses a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court order which had decriminalised homosexual acts.

The court said it was up to parliament to legislate on the issue.

According to Section 377, a 153-year-old colonial law, a same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offence” and punishable by a 10-year jail term.

Several political, social and religious groups had petitioned the Supreme Court to have the law reinstated in the wake of the 2009 court ruling.

BBC says although the law has rarely – if ever – been used to prosecute anyone for consensual sex, it has often been used by the police to harass homosexuals.

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Also, in a deeply conservative India, homosexuality is a taboo and many people still regard same-sex relationships as illegitimate.

“It is up to parliament to legislate on this issue,” Justice GS Singhvi, the head of the two-judge Supreme Court bench, said in Wednesday’s ruling, which came on his last day before retiring.







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