Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

World: India's gay-sex ban struck down
by Rex Wockner
2009-08-01

This article shared 5436 times since Sat Aug 1, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Following an eight-year court battle, India's Delhi High Court legalized gay sex July 2 in a forceful and poetic ruling that had GLBT activists crying in the courtroom.

The ruling took effect immediately—nationally—and will remain in effect unless the Supreme Court reverses it. Several major Western media outlets erroneously reported July 2 that the ruling only applied in New Delhi.

The court decision "read down" Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code so that it no longer applies to the activities of consenting adults. The section bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" under penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

The court smashed 377's application to gay people in myriad ways, finding it violated a constitutional guarantee of equality under the law, a constitutional ban on discrimination based on sex, and constitutional promises of personal liberty and protection of life.

The ruling is chock-full of soaring statements in support of India's GLBT population, including:

—"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. ... Section 377 IPC grossly violates their right to privacy and liberty embodied in Article 21 insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts between adults in private."

Read more story below....

—"Section 377 IPC targets the homosexual community as a class and is motivated by an animus towards this vulnerable class of people. ... It has no other purpose than to criminalise conduct which fails to conform with the moral or religious views of a section of society. The discrimination severely affects the rights and interests of homosexuals and deeply impairs their dignity."

—"When everything associated with homosexuality is treated as bent, queer, repugnant, the whole gay and lesbian community is marked with deviance and perversity. ... The result is that a significant group of the population is, because of its sexual non-conformity, persecuted, marginalised and turned in on itself."

—"We hold that sexual orientation is a ground analogous to sex and that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not permitted by Article 15. ... A provision of law branding one section of people as criminal based wholly on the State's moral disapproval of that class goes counter to the equality guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15 under any standard of review."

—"' [ R ] ight to personal liberty' and 'right to equality' are fundamental human rights which belong to individuals simply by virtue of their humanity. ... A Bill of Rights does not 'confer' fundamental human rights. It confirms their existence and accords them protection."

—"Indian Constitutional law does not permit the statutory criminal law to be held captive by the popular misconceptions of who the LGBTs are. It cannot be forgotten that discrimination is antithesis of equality and that it is the recognition of equality which will foster the dignity of every individual. ... We declare that Section 377 IPC, insofar it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution."

What happens next?

The national government could appeal the ruling to India's Supreme Court, though that is considered unlikely; the national government could both accept the ruling and use it as ammo to introduce a bill in Parliament to duplicate the ruling in national law; and/or anti-gay parties to the lawsuit could appeal to the Supreme Court.

But until such time as the Supreme Court overturns the Delhi ruling, India's GLBTs—who comprise more than 17 percent of all GLBT people on the planet—are no longer criminals. India has a population of nearly 1.2 billion people.

The erroneous reports that the ruling did not apply outside of New Delhi appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, on the Associated Press wire and elsewhere. ( For correct information, see bit.ly/WeXyO and bit.ly/7su4o. )

"Every major media outlet in the world got this wrong because they don't understand how the Indian courts work," said journalist Vikram Doctor of India's Queer Media Collective. "It will apply nationally until somebody challenges that at the Supreme Court, which is where this case is going to end up anyway."

In most common-law court systems, including India's in this case, the decision of an appellate court binds lower courts within its territorial jurisdiction and also is the 'last' word on the subject nationally unless a court of equal authority elsewhere makes a contrary decision or the supreme court reverses the decision. An appellate decision also binds the parties in the case ( which include the Indian government in this case ) regardless of where they are in the country.

Meanwhile, gay pride parades were staged in four Indian cities June 27-28—New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Bhubaneshwar.

At least 2,000 people marched in New Delhi. Marches are still to come in Mumbai and Kolkata.

—Assistance: Bill Kelley


This article shared 5436 times since Sat Aug 1, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Panic defense, VP Kamala Harris, Black LGBTQ app, crime items 2021-06-13
- Four states and the nation's capital have taken action to ban the so-called LGBTQ "panic defense," which is a legal strategy used by defendants to cite a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse ...


Gay News

WORLD India court, trans death, Guatemalan LGBTQs, Gay Games 2021-06-13
- A court in India ordered state and federal officials to draw up plans for sweeping reforms to respect LGBTQ rights, in a ruling that went far beyond the terms of a case brought by a lesbian couple who said they had ...


Gay News

Congress makes Pulse Nightclub a national memorial 2021-06-12
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial, NBC News reported. The House passed its version of the bill May 12. The measure now goes to President Joe ...


Gay News

When crime goes viral 2021-06-10
- Activists say Illinois's law that makes it illegal to expose others to HIV is racist and homophobic. Now they're close to changing it.
In early 2016, Jimmy Amutavi had what he considered a happy life. More ...


Gay News

WORLD: Domestic violence, activist dies, Jerusalem Pride, Olympics 2021-06-06
- On May 28, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Foundation launched its #SeenAndBelieved campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of DFV (domestic and family violence) in LGBTQ communities, aiming to break down the barriers to victims ...


Gay News

Harold J. Phillips appointed director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy 2021-06-05
--From a press release - Statement from Jeffrey S. Crowley, distinguished scholar and director of the Infectious Disease Initiatives at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center: I applaud President Biden's appointment of ...


Gay News

Trans-affirming election legislation passed by Illinois General Assembly, Equality Illinois responds 2021-06-04
--From a press release - Statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, on passage of Senate Bill 825, the trans-affirming election omnibus legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly on Monday, May 31, 2021: "During Pride Month and at ...


Gay News

Incarceration for HIV crimes in Georgia cost the state $9 million 2021-06-02
--From a press release - Between 1999-2020, as many as 133 people were incarcerated in Georgia prisons for HIV-related crimes New analysis from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that as many as 133 people have been incarcerated ...


Gay News

Wisconsin Governor blocks use of federal money for conversion therapy for minors 2021-06-01
--From a press release - MADISON, WI — Today, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed an Executive Order directing the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Department of ...


Gay News

GLAAD at Pride: Protect the most vulnerable among us 2021-06-01
--From a press release - New York, NY - Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today released a statement to honor the start of Pride Month, highlighting the ...


Gay News

WORLD Twitch, AIDS activist dies, Europe and LGBTQ laws, India hearing 2021-05-30
- COMPILED BY WCT STAFF The world's largest game streaming service, Twitch, said that players will be able to add a transgender label to their videos—a move the company said would aid inclusion among its 30 million ...


Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...


Gay News

Villa Park police fatally shoot transgender man 2021-05-27
- On May 24, Villa Park police shot and killed Haven A. Bailey, a 25-year-old Lombard resident, after calling 911 to report that someone was walking around outside with a gun, The Daily Herald noted. According to ...


Gay News

ACLU sues Arkansas over ban on health care for transgender youth 2021-05-25
- LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors challenging an Arkansas law that prohibits health care professionals ...


Gay News

Pfleger reinstated at South Side church after investigation 2021-05-25
- Cardinal Blase Cupich told parishioners that the Rev. Michael Pfleger will return to the pulpit at his South Side parish after a Chicago archdiocese panel found "insufficient reason to suspect" that he is guilty of sexual-abuse ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.