Homosexuality Decriminalized in India

By: Ryan Thomas

India’s Delhi High Court issued a ruling in the matter of Naz Foundation v. National Capital of Delhi last week, which concluded that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was unconstitutional. Section 377 of the I.P.C. criminalized “unnatural offences” with regard to sexual conduct. The law was drafted by British colonial officials in 1860 when India was a colony of the British Empire.

A two-judge panel wrote, "Moral indignation, howsoever strong, is not a valid basis for overriding individuals' fundamental rights of dignity and privacy. In our scheme of things Constitutional morality must outweigh the argument of public morality, even if it be the majoritarian view," in foresight to respond to religious and morality-rooted arguments against the decision of the Court. The rationale presented by the Delhi High Court justices is strikingly similar to that of the majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court in the matter of Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized homosexual intercourse in the United States in 2003.


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