Centre against legalising homosexuality
The government will not scrap a law that treats homosexuality as a crime, putting to rest a debate between the Home and Health ministries on whether homosexuality should be legalised in India, reports Harish V Nair.delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2008 01:00 IST
The government will not scrap a law that treats homosexuality as a crime, putting to rest a debate between the Home and Health ministries on whether homosexuality should be legalised in India.
On Friday, the Centre will oppose a petition filed by gay rights activists in the Delhi High Court seeking decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults.
“We are going to take a stand against scrapping of section 377 of IPC (punishment for indulging in unnatural sex). I will stiffly oppose the plea,” Additional Solicitor General PP Malhotra told reporters.
The court had sought the government’s view on a petition filed by Naz Foundation, an NGO supporting gay rights.
The development follows differences between the health ministry and the home ministry on the issue. The health ministry said the law pushes HIV people underground “which makes such risky sexual practices go unnoticed”. The home ministry said society disapproves of homosexuality, so it should be treated as a crime.
The government’s stand was finalised after the law ministry said it was against any tampering with Section 377. “This is a section not merely confined to gay rights, it acts as a deterrent against those with sick minds too,” a law ministry official said.