Rainbow Law to shine in India?

Bengaluru: It seems India is re-thinking on the decision it once scrapped in 2013. After the US legalised same sex marriage last week, every eye is on India as to whether the country will follow the suit.

Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has reportedly indicated that India could move towards abolishing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises ‘unnatural sex’.

Gowda’s statement came following the US Supreme Court’s historic decision last week declaring same-sex marriages legal.

According to reports, Gowda said the decision will however be taken after widespread consultations and taking all views into account. A recent legislation on the rights of transgender people could provide a model for India’s gay community, he added.

“The mood appears to be in favour of it. But it can be done only after widespread consultations and taking all views into account,” Gowda was quoted as saying by a leading national daily.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court overturned a Delhi High Court verdict that had set aside Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a law framed in 1860.

The apex court put the ball in the government’s court for decriminalising consensual sex among homosexuals, arguing it was free to annul the law through legislation.

The high court had ruled in 2009 that Sec 377 was unconstitutional.

Same-sex marriage was legal in 20 countries till Friday, according to a fact sheet prepared by Pew Research Center. Now, it’s 21, with the US.


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