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Sexy Time: Religious Types Furious Over New Delhi’s Legal Gay Sex

indiapride09

A British-era law that India kept on the books for over 150 years that criminalized gay sex has been lifted — but only in New Delhi, not the entire country. No longer will “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” possibly lead to 10-year jail sentences. The law, however, was never really about sentencing gay men and women to prison, but giving the police an excuse to harass the community at will. By decriminalizing gay sex, meanwhile, it will have the gradual effect of destigmatizing it as well, which could help India battle the spread of HIV, which estimates claim already hit 2.5 million. More from Delhi High Court’s ruling here. This should give whole new meaning to Delhi’s famed spice market. Naturally, religious conservatives are pissed. TheIndian.com:

Avtar Singh Makkar, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex Sikh body, told IANS: “We are shocked on this decision of the court and directly reject its ruling. There is no need of giving a second thought to it as no religion on this earth allows such kind of disgraceful thing to prevail.”

“It is unlawful and takes man on the path that would divert him away from God,” he added.

A member of radical Sikh group Dal Khalsa said on condition of anonymity: “This day should be remembered as a ‘black day’ in the history of mankind. We are unable to understand that how our judiciary can push the whole humanity towards deterioration, just to make a handful of eccentric and wayward individuals happy.

Oh, and some Christians aren’t happy either!

Expressing reservation over the Delhi High court judgement legalising homosexuality, the Catholic Church in Kerala on Thursday said this would ‘open up’ the society to ‘sexual anarchy’.

“Though Homosexual act is immoral, we should be merciful, considerate to people with homosexual tendencies. However, that does not mean they have the right to the homosexual act,” the Catholic Church spokesperson Paul Thelekat said.

“Legalising gay sex will open up the society to some sort of sexual anarchy. Perhaps Indian culture is being eroded by the western promiscuous culture,” he said.

The Church would work with every sensitive person and community to keep the moral fabric of the society intact, he said.

(Photo: London Times)

By:           editor editor
On:           Jul 2, 2009
Tagged: , ,
  • 19 Comments
    • Queerky
      Queerky

      Delhi is the capital of India. A ruling by the Supreme Court in Delhi means homosexuality is decriminalized in the whole country. Try the timesofindia.com website for a more accurate take on this story than Queerty is able to provide. This law affects 100 million gays and lesbians in a positive way. I find it sad that a major event of this nature is treated so negatively by American gays. I guess you guys are just too buzy oogling some shirtless pics huh?

      Jul 2, 2009 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Queerky:
      Exactly!

      How about some quotes from people who think this is a good turn of events (or even from the government ministers who did it) rather than giving the last word to religious homophobes.

      After all, Obama isn’t running things over there too, so there is no need to make this story pedal backwards just to be trendy.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @strumpetwindsock:
      And for those insisting on worldwide revolution, note that this didn’t come about through violence or mass revolt.

      Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t always happen that way.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 10:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Quinn
      Quinn

      @Queerky: Queerky, that’s not correct at all. The Delhi High Court is the highest court in Delhi, not in the country. It is akin to the Iowa Supreme Court, not SCOTUS. India has its own Supreme Court which would have to uphold this ruling in order for the law to be struck down nationally.

      Queerty’s reporting here is some of the most in-depth and accurate I’ve seen on this topic. So let’s give credit where credit is due.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • prissysissy
      prissysissy

      People have been having gay sex in India from time immemorial .. in Indian society you can do anything as long as you *do not talk about it*! PDAs of any nature (gay or straight) are frowned upon.
      Of course, urban India is Westernizing rapidly.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Quinn:

      Not exactly. They ruled a federal law unconstitutional.

      More importantly, this battle was orchestrated by the federal government, which plans to change the law this fall to be in line with the constitution.

      This ruling sets a country-wide precedent which the judge said will stand until that happens.

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

      Jul 2, 2009 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      Ooops. Here’s an actual permalink:
      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Homosexuality-no-crime-Delhi-High-Court/articleshow/4726608.cms

      Jul 2, 2009 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RTM
      RTM

      Delhi HC’s jurisdiction is limited to Delhi, so this judgment is not “mandatory” outside Delhi. However, this still means that other HCs can copy this judgment without re-hearing the matter. If another HC does decide to rehear the matter and rule against gay sex, then the issue will have to be decided by the Supreme Court.

      In any case, the fundamentalist groups are going to file an appeal before the SC. So this decision is still not final. But it is an important first step.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Quinn
      Quinn

      @strumpetwindsock: The battle was orchestrated by the Naz Foundation, which is not a branch of the federal government. The government, now run by the Congress Party, has indicated willingness to do away with the law, but that does not trump the need for legal procedure.

      If the Iowa Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, it would not affect the entirety of the U.S. The same goes here – the fact that Delhi is the capital is irrelevant. I’ve already read the ToI piece which is very detailed but does not actually say anything to support what you’re claiming.

      RTM is correct. This provides precedence for other High Courts to mimic – which they likely will. But it is not itself a definitive ruling for other provinces or federally. ‘Precedent’ is not the same as ‘law’.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Quinn:
      Quinn,

      Sorry if I was unclear. By ‘battle” I meant the campaign to change the law, not the specific court fight. Several ministries already support changing the law, including the new attourney general. That in-cabinet campaign has been going on concurrent with the court challenge.

      Even if this case goes to the Supreme Court (which I don’t think has the same tradition of ruling according to personal and political opinion that you have in the U.S.) this matter is likely to be settled in parliament.

      If there is a new law draughted there might be another court challenge, but if that section of the code is more likely to be simply stricken.

      The government is a coalition, so passage is not guaranteed, but this court ruling gives strong support to a change the government has been actively promoting.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      A good analysis piece suggesting that although Section 377 is almost certainly dead, there may be a backlash on other gay rights fronts:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/02/gay-rights-india-court

      Jul 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Quinn
      Quinn

      @strumpetwindsock: Ah, understood! Good point on the Coalition government, as well, but yes I agree that there is a lot of support in Parliament at the moment. I’ve bookmarked your link for later – on the way out the door so can’t read it just yet!

      Jul 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • heya
      heya

      stop asking the “religious” nutjobs what they think. no one cares…..

      stop listening to them, stop reporting on them….STOP GIVING THEM AN OUTLET TO VOICE THIER HATRED AND BIGOTRY!

      eventually, these hardline whackjobs will die off…

      Jul 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @heya:

      How do you manage to navigate with your head shoved so far up your ass?

      And what are we supposed to do in the meantime, waiting for “these hardline whackjobs to die off”? Stick our heads up our asses along with you?

      Ignorant a lot, do?

      Jul 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Can anyone report on the views of Hindu groups and the various Buddhist groups?

      Jul 3, 2009 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @Bill Perdue:

      Buddah hasn’t been able to see his dick for centuries.

      What could he possibly tell us about any kind of sex? LOL

      Jul 3, 2009 at 12:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RTM
      RTM

      Hindu fundamentalists (such as the VHP, SRS, and Baba Ramdev) have protested against the ruling and some might appeal against this before the Supreme Court.

      However, ordinary Hindu religious leaders and sects (such as the Shankaracharyas, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sai Baba, Mata Amritanandmayi, ISKCON, Arya Samaj, etc) are yet to state their position.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Hey boys and girls, I wish you well and hope you get the law changed properly soon.

      This is a very good step in the right direction.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RTM
      RTM

      Hey. I am sorry. This ruling is in fact applicable all over India (except Jammu and Kashmir) because of a law laid down by the Supreme Court of India in 2004.

      So, its okay to be go EVERYWHERE in the territory of India (except as i mentioned J&K). Thanks to the legal experts for clearing this massive confusion.

      http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx?sectionName=IndiaSectionPage&id=cca20b62-e8b0-403e-9316-dab0bb1ac8a8GayVictory_Special&Headline=%E2%80%98Verdict+applies+across+India%E2%80%99

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Will-Delhi-HC-gay-order-apply-across-India/articleshow/4731089.cms

      Jul 4, 2009 at 5:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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