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Views & Voices

India’s court ruling a dreadful new judicial low for international LGBT human rights

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Altaf Qadri, APA gay rights activist holds up a placard during a protest against the Supreme Court’s ruling in New Delhi.

Altaf Qadri, AP
A gay rights activist holds up a placard during a protest against the Supreme Court’s ruling in New Delhi.

Wednesday’s Indian Supreme Court decision reversing a lower court and re-criminalizing same-sex sexual intimacy marks a dreadful new judicial low for international LGBT human rights.

Even as we in the U.S. enjoy ever increasing visibility and protections for our community, life for many of our brothers and sisters in other countries is going from bad to intolerable.

It is repellent that extremist religious opposition worldwide is such a corrosive impediment to basic human rights. The groundbreaking Delhi high court decision would have stood had religious opponents not attempted, now successfully, to roll it back.

Even the Indian government refused to defend the law in court. We are unfortunately in a global culture war with many more challenges ahead.

In many African nations, Jamaica, Russia, much of Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, being openly LGBT is often lethal.

Government crackdowns, most recently in Russia, are surging and show no signs of diminishing. Hate violence is not only endemic, but encouraged by government officials.

Now, India joins the list of nations on the wrong side not only of history, but decency.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court stuck down the remaining laws in 12 states which made same-sex intimacy a crime. Now, 10 years later, the highest Court in India turns a blind eye to justice, offends any commonsense understanding of privacy, and assures that LGBT Indians will live in fear and under the stigma of this draconian and dehumanizing law.

We are living in a Dickensian world, the best of times for many LGBT people in great swathes of this nation and some other countries, and the worst of times on far too much of the planet.

It is impossible to enjoy our liberty and freedom knowing that so many others suffer.

We always knew our work was not done, and today we have another grim reminder.

Read more about the decision.

Read the statement by Voices Against 377.

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17 more reader comments:

  1. :( I love my LGBT India family!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:02pm
  2. I love my best friend and gurlfriend tami, of 8yrs, with all my heart, soul, mind, body and spirit!!! Welcome to the gayborhood…lol! Were looking for people like us to become friends w because we feel lost in a world of prejudice people who do not understand that we were born this way baby! Thank u gaga for ur undying support and belief in all of us that r a part of the lgbt community! Keep on keepin on gaga and all those who let us be r selves! And baby i love u sooo much tami, love ur honey bee for life….nicole mckegney

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:16pm
  3. this is SO DISGUSTING. 2013 and a Supreme Court (not a lower court) makes this atrocious ruling. Since this is a SC ruling, does that mean nothing can be done? What’s the process like in India?

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:22pm
  4. The administration in power now is trying to change the law to get rid of the provision mentioned. People in India are still fighting

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:46pm
  5. this is why in glad to be canadian.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:25pm
  6. They also withdrew rights in Australia:-(

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:26pm
  7. Please support the lgbt community and all those in ur lives who are a part of it! Remember, we all bleed red! Show some love and respect for the lgbt! We are all one in the same. I hate that i have to hide my pda in front of outsiders and even some family and friends w the woman that i love the most! Its not fair that its frowned upon making people act strange and discusted towards us like were sinners and the devils children. Choose love not hate. Learn to accept and not to deny. Love thy neighbor no matter what color, creed, religion, sexual preference, and looks. Make fun of no one and ull be one more step closer to heavens gates accepting u when its ur time……nicole

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:32pm
  8. ‘Sanctions!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:54pm
  9. It’s no surprise in India considering the way they treat women!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:06pm
  10. india and australia are really making me sad and angry

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 12:21am
  11. totally disgusting

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:19am
  12. Because India needs more people– right?? They have the second highest population in the World!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:03am
  13. Come to NZ boys I’ll show you round :)

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:41am
  14. LOVE. THAT. SIGN!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:31am
  15. The USA needs to place sanctions against India for this EPIC FAILURE in the Human Rights department!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9:36am
  16. Another 10 steps backward!!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:46pm
  17. This is so unacceptable! :(

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:10pm