‘Criminalising gay sex is against Constitution’

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 21:26

New Delhi: Gay rights activists on Wednesday
submitted in the Supreme Court that criminalising homosexual
acts is against constitutional values and law should not
interfere when consenting adults are involved.

Naz Foundation, an NGO, working for the welfare and
rehabilitation of HIV infected persons, contended that
homosexuals are facing social ostracism with gay sex being
declared as an offence.
Appearing before a bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J
Mukhopadhaya, the NGO supported the Delhi High Court verdict
decriminalising gay sex among consenting adults in private
which was earlier an offence punishable upto life
imprisonment.

"They are (homosexuals) our brothers and sisters and
citizens of the country. If they cannot express their
sexuality then they are second class citizen of the country.
It is against our constitutional values," advocate Anand
Grover, appearing for the NGO, said.

"It amounts to demeaning their worth and marginalising
them in society. They are not able to reveal their sexual
expression as it has been made an offence in the society. Even
incest is not an offence," he further said.
Countering the arguments of social and religious
organisations that gay sex is immoral, he said that such
acts among consenting adults is private affair and law should
not interfere.

"It is not an issue of public morality but about private
morality and purpose of law is not to interfere in private
morality," he said.

The apex court is hearing petitions filed by anti-gay
rights activists as also by political, social and religious
organisations, challenging the Delhi High Court verdict
decriminalising gay sex as provided in Section 377 of the
Indian Penal Code (IPC).

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 21:26
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