NEW DELHI, January 28, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – India’s Supreme Court has thrown out an appeal launched over its decision last month upholding the country’s ban on “unnatural sex.”
The Naz Foundation, a UK-based homosexual activist group that promotes and attempts to legalize homosexual behavior in South Asia, had sought a review of the court’s Dec. 11th decision.
But in a ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court said they “see no reason to interfere” with their ruling, so the petition for a review was “dismissed.”
The statute in question, Section 377 of the Penal Code, has been criticized by homosexual advocacy groups for violating their rights. But it does not specifically mention homosexuality, targeting instead all sexual offences deemed unnatural.
It reads: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.''
Litigation over the issue had been ongoing since 2001 when the Naz Foundation filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the statute’s constitutional validity.
In its Dec. 11th ruling, the Supreme Court said the claim that the law targets homosexuals is “without any basis” as “no class was targeted by the section and no classification has been made in it.”
Writing an analysis in DNA India, Mayank Tewari said he was “convinced that the Supreme Court has come in for unfair criticism and most of the people dissenting with the judgment don’t really understand what they are protesting against.”
“The judgment isn’t anti-gay,” wrote Tewari. “It can be called regressive in parts but nowhere in the judgment does one find an anti-LGBT stand. In fact a cursory reading of the judgment reveals that gay rights and its social status or discrimination is not the matter being considered at all.”
Tewari said that the Supreme Court called the Naz Foundation's petition against Section 377 “laconic” in that the homosexuality advocates failed to provide any proof that the law was being used to marginalize the homosexual community.
“No matter how one looks at the judgment it is impossible to glance over paragraph number 40 that talks about the lack of evidence. If there is no evidence to show misuse of the law how can one argue for the abolition of the law on the grounds that it is being misused?” Tewari wanted to know.
“To me the real culprit is the petitioner who has tried to gain undue publicity by trying to turn its petition into a national debate on sexual minorities. Thankfully our highest courts retain the good sense that made the creators of our nation repose their full faith in them,” he concluded.
While the Supreme Court ruled that Section 377 does not violate the country’s Constitution, it stated that it is the responsibility of the government to consider amending the law.
Sunsun C. Jose, a pro-family activist from Bangalore, told LifeSiteNews that legislation by Parliament to change or repeal Section 377 is unlikely given the lack of political unity on the issue and opposition to changing the law from a socially conservative population.
“Please keep this in prayers” he asked, “so that we would have done a sufficient amount of sensitization by the time it reaches the parliament, which will happen only after the next general elections – if it does at all.”
The Supreme Court ruling dismissing the appeal is available here.
Shri Mohd. Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India
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