India’s Supreme Court says Gay Sex Illegal, Stuns Gay Activists

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NEW DELHI – A two-judgebench struck down a landmarkDelhi high court ruling in 2009which found that Section 377of the Indian penal code prohibiting”carnal intercourseagainst the order of nature”infringed the fundamentalrights of Indians.The decision four years ago todecriminalise gay sex emboldenedthe still largely closetedhomosexual community whichhas since campaigned publiclyagainst widespread discriminationand ignorance.But the Supreme Court bench,headed by GS Singhvi on hislast day before retirement,found the high court had oversteppedits authority and that alaw passed by the British in1860 was still constitutionallyvalid.”It is up to Parliament to legislateon this issue,” Singhvi saidin the judgment which crushedthe hopes of activists who hadfought the case and led to tearsoutside the court in centralNew Delhi.The 2009 ruling was stronglyopposed by religious groups,particularly leaders of Muslimand Christian communities,who appealed to the SupremeCourt and were delighted withWednesday’s outcome.