India Insight

Reactions on Twitter to the Supreme Court judgment on gay sex

The Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a 2009 ruling by a lower court that had decriminalised gay sex in India, in a major setback for the cause of gay rights in the world’s largest democracy. For full story, click http://reut.rs/18TsR0U

Here are some reactions from India on Twitter (lightly edited for clarity):

Shashi Tharoor, Congress minister
The Supreme Court has urged Parliament to delete Section 377 from the statute book. As an MP, I am strongly in favour of doing so.

Shruti Haasan, actress
Second 377, it’s frightening how someone else decides how, when and who you should love – basically freedom of choice isn’t legal anymore.

Taslima Nasreen, writer
India banned love. Shame! Shame! India celebrated Human Rights Day yesterday. Today India passed the verdict against Human Rights to have consensual sex.

Chetan Bhagat, writer
We are going to put cops behind gay couples. That’s the India we are supposed to create in the 21st century? Criminalizing a sexual preference other than your own is the issue. Whether you like gay people or not, they can’t be deemed criminals.

Indian health minister invents queer “disease”

By Annie Banerji

As if the Congress-led coalition government hadn’t already cut a pitiable figure in recent times, the Indian health minister stirred up a storm of criticism on Monday with his comments on a “disease” called MSM — men who have sex with men.

“MSM is unnatural and not good for India. It is a disease which has come to India from other countries where men have sex with men,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a national convention on HIV and AIDS, a meeting that should have fostered compassion and created awareness about the virus.

Azad’s comments came just a few days after the second anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexual relations between consenting adults by the Delhi High Court, a move that was vociferously supported by the ministry of health even in 2008 and upended a 148-year-old law categorising same-sex relations as “unnatural”.

Will India accept gay couples?

“Freaking unbelievable. Absolutely speechless!”
Gay rights activists in India have been posting congratulatory messages on blogs and Twitter ever since the Delhi High Court on Thursday ruled gay sex was not a crime.
human rights.

Some see the ruling as crucial for the country’s battle against HIV/AIDS.

India has the world’s second highest HIV/AIDS caseload and gay advocacy groups say fear of persecution by law enforcement agencies often leaves homosexuals without easy access to health information and preventive care, rendering them more vulnerable to infection.

The gay sex debate and repealing of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that makes “unnatural sex” a punishable offence will have wide- ranging implications in the months to come.

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