India: Finance Minister Says Anti-gay Laws Should Be Re-examined


Indian Minister For Finance, Arun Jaitley Photo: Augustus Binu

In India, New Delhi – born Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley,  has stated that ‘conservative’ and outdated laws against gay relationships should be re-examined by the Supreme Court.

At the moment, the anti-gay laws mean that LGBT people can face imprisonment if having gay consensual sex, and discrimination, harassment and condemnation are all part of the daily threat if a person is found to be in a gay relationship.

Mr Jaitley, speaking at the Times LitFest in New Delhi on Saturday last (28 Nov)  said that the Supreme Court’s 2013 judgment, which over-ruled a previous High Court ruling that it was unconstitutional to regulate consensual sex between adults, was one that “needed to be reconsidered”, as there were “millions of people involved in this”.

“Jurisprudence world-over is evolving, I think the judgment was not correct, and probably at some stage, they may have to re-consider,” he said.

Although the statement was welcomed by activists, some feel that Mr Jaitley should use his influence on his fellow politicians in the Hindu BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government to overturn the legislation, section 377 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860, which institutionalised discrimination against the LGBT community.

A challenge to its own 2013 ruling has now been agreed to by the Supreme Court, but as yet no date has been set for the hearing.




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