[ View the story "India's LGBT debate" on Storify] India's LGBT debate An age old law criminalising homosexuality raises concerns about gay rights in the country.
The Stream· Wed, Dec 18 2013 08:54:35
The gay community and its allies are
over the Indian Supreme Court's decision to reinstate Section 377, a law they say criminalises gay sex. The December 11 ruling overturned a 2009 Delhi High Court decision that allowed India's
2.5 million gay people to come out without fear of being prosecuted.
When the news broke, some Indians protested in a social media campaign called "Gay for a Day":
#gayforaday If I am guilty for what goes on in my mind then give me the electric chair today. Remove #377 from book
Gay for a day is probably the first online civil disobidience of Indians, isin't it nice? :) Well done India, well done! #GayForADayShekhu
Photos from Prabin Mukherjee's post in... - Prabin Mukherjee | FacebookFacebook
Check out more #gayforaday photos and reactions
Indians are conflicted on the colonial-era law, which prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal".
Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi
disappointment about the ban. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India's opposition nationalist party, however,
the Supreme Court's decision. Rajnath Singh, BJP president, said that gay sex is "an unnatural act that cannot be supported".
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev celebrated the Supreme Court's decision.
"Court has respected sentiments of millions of Indians and declared homosexuality a crime. Homosexuality is not genetic. Its just a bad addiction. I can cure it. We along with some Muslim and Christian groups had filed petitions against HC verdict, and are happy today."dnaindia.com
However, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar voiced his support for gay rights:
Nobody should face discrimination because of their sexual preferences. To be branded a criminal for this is absurd.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Other politicians and pundits responded on Twitter:
happy with the verdict homosexuality is d no.1 cause of aids n std's.its a mental disorder.its against our rich culture #Sec377 #Section377Owais Khan
We just celebrated world #HumanRights day,2 me tht really means the right 4 all 2live with dignity&certainly the right 2 love freely #Sec377Naveen Jindal
The majority of MPs in Parliament, the Supreme Court , the Constitution, and over 84 percent of India support the SC order on gay sex.Subramanian Swamy
The Govt is considering all options to restore the High Court verdict on #377. We must decriminalise adult consensual relationships.Kapil Sibal
The government could introduce new legislation to change Section 377 or nullify the court's judgement through an ordinance. Petitioners also have the option to seek a review of the judgement from a larger Supreme Court bench.
While the government and petitioners weigh their options, the debate rages on. Hundreds
protests on December 15 against the criminalisation of gay sex, calling it a "Global Day of Rage". They used the hashtag #nogoingback:
Either you can have equality for all clause in your constitution or you can ban gay marriage. Can't have both. Decide. #nogoingbackVansh Kapil
Yeh, hai Bambai, meri jaan! Abolishing binaries of straight and gay! (via Alok Gupta) #NoGoingBack #377DayOfRage
Love is love. Inspired by the solidarity throughout the world. #NoGoingBack #377dayofrage #India #Sec377Taylor Putz
The Stream asked its online community if it supported the Indian Supreme Court's decision to leave the issue of homosexuality laws to Parliament:
@AJStream What happens in the bed Room of two mutually consenting adults, should be best left to them, Not a court of law to interfere.Anvesh R
@AJStream Support leaving the #Sec377 decision to Parliament. In fact law shouldn't touch such deep social topics.Rohith B Rao
@AJStream NO. Judiciary being protector of human rights has squandered a rare chance to uphold them. Legislature is of the majorities!Naren
The Stream also asked if the public generally support or oppose LGBT rights in India:
I say highly supportive of LGBT rights!! The law will not stay for long as the ruling government is opposed to the judgement, so is majority of the youth of the country!Saurabh Goel
@AJStream what does it matter? Human rights cannot be subject to electoral politics. Do what's right #scrap377 #sec377peregrinmonk
Most don't really care. The rest are religious fundamentalists (inclusive of Hindus, Muslims and Christians, I hope that the whole spectrum has been covered). As for me, live and let live !Abhishek Kumar
The judgment is a welcome developmentAyansina Adebayo
The story was suggested to us by Stream community members.
4 years ago, the Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexuality in India. 15 minutes ago, the India Supreme Court REcriminalized it. #377Rohan Grover
@AJStream Indian SC criminalised homosexuality. Article 377. Overnight, 80m Indians will turn criminals when enforced.shaival dalal
@AJStream Section 377 Supreme court in India criminalizes Gay sexKamal
Supreme Court of India has made gay sex illegal....that means anyone who is caught will go to 10 years in imprisionmentRohit Chauhan
India's supreme court ruling homosexuality illegal.Tharunya Balan