INDIA: Supreme Court Hears Challenge To Decriminalization Of Homosexuality

In 2009 the Delhi High Court struck down laws that criminalized gay sex, a move that was celebrated by LGBT activists around the world. Anti-gay and religious groups immediately appealed that decision. This week the Indian Supreme Court began hearings.

Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, president of the hardline Indian Islamic group Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said in 2009: “The time has come for all religious leaders to unite on this issue and jointly protest the government’s proposed move to legalise gay rights. A consensus should be evolved for challenging the Delhi High Court order in the Supreme Court.” The case has now been brought and debate began at the Supreme Court yesterday with a petition by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhyaya asked petitioners who had the authority to decide the “order of nature” that gay acts supposedly violate. They asked: “Test-tube babies, surrogate mothers – are they in the order of nature?”

RELATED: Anti-sodomy laws were imposed upon India over 150 years ago when the British took control. Prior to that no such ban existed.