Friday, July 3, 2009

Section 377 overturned

"The Constitution of India recognises, protects and celebrates diversity. To stigmatise or to criminalise homosexuals only on account of their sexual orientation would be against the constitutional morality."
--Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar

Yesterday the Dehli High Court ruled unconstitutional the criminalization of homosexuality in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code--a law originating with the 19th-century British colonial administration. Amrita of IndieQuill includes a link to the full decision in her thoughtful post; Nisha Susan of The Chasing Iamb offers a moving memorial to the human rights activist Familia; Vikram Doctor surveys the decision for The Economic Times of India; and Heather Timmons and Hari Kumar report on the decision for The New York Times. That article quotes chef Ritu Dalmia as saying "Today is a historical moment where at least some tiny steps have been taken, but there is still a very, very long road ahead."

The government is likely to appeal the decision to the Indian Supreme Court.

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