The Indian judiciary is still caught in the throes of a colonial hangover.
How else would you justify the upholding of a colonial-era law that banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”?
Chapter 16, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code seeks to criminalise same sex intercourse. That’s not the fun bit, however. It bans said behaviour among consenting adults, and has the legal capacity of slapping a 10-year imprisonment term.
Due to the widespread efforts of AIDS awareness organisations, LGBT activists and other advocates, 2 July 2009 became a day in history. The High Court in New Delhi struck down this 150 year-old piece of anti-human legislation, citing it to be against fundamental human rights.
Thousands came out on the streets and celebrated in a riot of colour. “Inclusiveness”, said our lawmakers. There were gay prides and parades. Many trapped souls saw a ray of hope in a largely conservative society.
Apparently, the highest lawmakers don’t think so.
Today, the Supreme Court struck down the High Court ruling, saying that there was “no constitutional infirmity” in the law. Unwilling to take a hard stand, the judiciary has turned over the law right back to the Parliament, saying that the legislature could make changes as is deemed appropriate.
So for now, go back into your closets and hope.
Wait, wasn’t it World Human Rights Day yesterday?
(Featured image: http://www.nowpublic.com/158)