In a major setback to India’s gay community the High Court there has once again ruled that homosexual sex is illegal.
The ruling, which was delivered today, overturns a lower court ruling from four years ago which decriminalized gay sex. Section 377 is the law, from India’s Colonial-era days, that bans people from engaging in "carnal acts against the order of nature."
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the penal code was constitutionally valid.
It was up to parliament, the court said, to decide whether or not to keep the law in the statute books.
International reaction has been swift with Amnesty International India calling Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling "a black day of freedom in India. It is hard not to feel let down by this judgment, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights," the group said.
The New York-based group Human Rights Watch called on the Indian government to take steps to scrap Section 377. "The Supreme Court's ruling is a disappointing setback to human dignity, and the basic rights to privacy and non-discrimination," the group said in a statement. "But now the government should do what it should have done in the first place and seek to repeal section 377."
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