India Says It Has No Interest In Recriminalizing Homosexuality, Even As Challenges Continue

Despite court challenges by conservatives, the Indian government today clarified that it’s not looking to re-criminalize gay sex.

Homosexuality was legalized in the subcontinent in 2009 when Section 377, a statute dating back to colonial British rule, was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Last week, though, Solicitor General PP Malhotra made headlines when he claimed that “gay sex is highly immoral and against social order and there is high chance of spreading of diseases through such acts.”

The difference between Malhotra’s viewpoint and that of the government has led to confusion. Today a Supreme Court justice asked the government to file an affidavit “to reconcile the two divergent positions,” reports the BBC.

Though the challenge to the overturn of Section 377 continues,  it looks like the Supreme Court is inclined to rule against it.

The court asked groups challenging the judgment to define “unnatural sex.”

“So who is the expert to say what is ‘unnatural sex’? The meaning of the word has never been constant,” Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhyaya asked a petitioner who challenged the judgment.

“We have traveled a distance of 60 years. Now it is test-tube babies, surrogate mothers. They are called discoveries. Is it in the order of nature? Is there carnal intercourse?” the judges asked.