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India: Supreme Court Will Reconsider Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

IndiaIndia’s Supreme Court will look at the law making being gay a crime once again.

Towleroad.com reports:

The Hindu reports: A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, before whom the matter was mentioned by senior lawyers appearing for different parties, said that it will go through the documents and consider their plea. Curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in court and it is normally considered by judges in-chamber without granting opportunity to parties to argue the case.

I’m not sure if anything fundamental has changed here – unless there’s new evidence, it’s the same crew that already upheld the law twice. But we can always hope.

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India: New Challenge to Anti Gay Law

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Naz Foundation IndiaThe Naz Foundation, an HIV support group, petitioned the Indian Supreme Court to reconsider its decision about the country’s anti gay law.

Pink News reports:

Campaigners in India have begun a new challenge against the Supreme Court’s decision to recriminalise homosexuality. The Naz Foundation, an HIV support group, yesterday filed a curative petition challenging last December’s verdict. It argues that the court made a “mistake” in its judgment and is guilty of a “gross miscarriage of justice”.

Courts don’t generally like to be told that they were wrong, and with a new conservative government in power, it may be years before this injustice is finally addressed.

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USA, Virginia: Sodomy Law Finally Repealed

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

VirginiaThe House in Virginia finally voted to repeal the state’s unconstitutional “sodomy” ban.

Towleroad.com reports:

Virginia’s House of Delegates on Thursday unanimously passed in a 100 to 0 vote a bill that would eliminate the state’s unconstitutional ban on sodomy that criminalized oral and anal sex since 1950, ThinkProgress reports. Previously approved by the Virginia state Senate in a similar unanimous vote, the bill now awaits Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s signature or veto.

The statute in question, Virginia’s Crimes Against Nature law, technically should have been made defunct after the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas which found that the state could not infringe on the rights of adult individuals to have consensual sex. However, many Republican legislators in Virginia, including former gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, fought to keep it in place. The sodomy ban was battered in the courts and the Supreme Court made sure to keep clear of the case.

Another victory in Virginia – amazing that the vote was 100 to 0. Now, Virginia really is for lovers.

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India: Supreme Court Re-Affirms Anti Gay Ruling

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

IndiaThe India Supreme Court took another look at its ruling re-criminalizing gay sex, and it liked what it saw.

Joe.My.God reports:

The Indian Supreme Court today refused to reconsider its December decision to reinstate the criminalization of homosexuality. Many had expected the Court to do so after major Indian and international leaders denounced the ruling. Judges dismissed petitions from the government and rights activists who say the order was wrong. The Supreme Court judgement last month overturned a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising gay sex. The ruling is seen as a huge blow to gay rights and has been criticised by activists and government ministers.

It’s time for legislators in India to step up and legalize homosexuality in the country once and for all.

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India: A Deeper Look at the Anti Gay Sex Ruling

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

IndiaAndrew Sullivan at the Dish gathers some of the analyses of the India Supreme Court Ruling that upheld the country’s sodomy law.

The majority passes a law that the minority believes discriminates against it. The minority goes to court seeking relief from the majority. But because the minority group constitutes a “minuscule fraction of the country’s population,” the court will defer to the will of the legislature–that is, to the will of the majority. That, in short, is how the court wrapped itself in the flag of judicial restraint and overturned a lower court decision that had struck down the country’s sodomy laws as unconstitutional. Kaushal v. Naz Foundation was supposed to be India’s Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court’s path-breaking decision striking down state anti-sodomy laws. Instead Kaushal is already being described in the Indian press as the country’s Dred Scott or Plessy v. Ferguson: “moments of deep national shame, blots on the judicial record, examples par excellence of judges at their very worst,” as one op-ed put it.

Will Indian lawmakers act to correct this? Or are India’s LGBT citizens going to remain criminals simply for being who they are?

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Democratic Republic of Congo: Government Considers Gay Sex Ban

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Democratic Republic of Congo – Google maps

from Google Maps

An African nation is considering banning gay sex.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Democratic Republic of Congo — A draft bill has been proposed to criminalize gay sex the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). National Assembly Member Steve Mbikayi, the bill’s sponsor, said Saturday the bill is necessary in order to “preserve African values,” which, he insists, “have never tolerated romantic relationships between persons of the same sex.” DRC-mapSame-sex sexual activity is legal the DRC, as homosexual acts have never been explicitly outlawed in the country’s history.

It’s disappointing to have such a spate of negative news lately, but change comes slowly, and even with our recent victories, we still have to continue the hard work.

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India: Supreme Court Re-Criminalizes Gay Sex

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

India Taj MahalIn a stunning turnaround, India’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling, basically reinstating the country’s sodomy ban.

The Washington Blade reports:

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled consensual same-sex sexual activity remains illegal in the country. This decision overturns a 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalized homosexuality in the world’s second most populated nation. India’s top court also said only lawmakers can repeal the colonial-era sodomy law that has been in place since 1860. NDTV reported LGBT rights advocates who had gathered outside the court began to cry when they heard the ruling. Others gathered in the streets of Mumbai to protest the decision.

LGBT rights groups are stunned.

Joe.My.God reports:

We are deeply disappointed at the decision of the Supreme Court in Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation. The decision by overturning the historic Delhi High Court judgment which recognized that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) persons are full citizens of India, attempts to stem the tide of history. By overturning the Naz Foundation judgment, the Supreme Court has, in one fell stroke again reduced LGBT persons to the status of what the Delhi High Court memorably called ‘unapprehended felons’

If you ever start to forget that you are a second-class citizen, don’t worry – someone will come along to remind you.

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USA, Virginia: US Supreme Court Will Not Hear Case to preserve Sodomy Law

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Virginia Attorney General Ken CuccinelliSome late breaking news here – the US Supreme Court has just turned down Ken Cuccinelli’s attempt to preserve the state’s law against “sodomy”.

Joe.My.God reports:

The US Supreme Court today refused to hear the appeal of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who lost an earlier suit to reinstate the ban on sodomy. The high court on Monday refused to hear from Virginia state officials who wanted to get the state’s ban on oral and anal sex reinstated. In March, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond declared Virginia’s law unconstitutional.

As Joe comments: “Suck it, Cooch. No, really. It’s legal.”

Belize: Judge May Strike Down Sodomy Law

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Belize - google maps

from Google Maps

A ruling is due shortly that could axe Belize’s ban on gay sex.

Gay Star News reports:

Belize is preparing for their law against sodomy to be struck down by the courts. Gay anal sex, considered ‘against the order of nature’, is illegal in Belize and can get you 10 years jail – but a court case is trying to change that… The case against Section 53, the anti-gay section of Belize’s criminal code, is being brought by Caleb Orozco, the brave head of the Central American nation’s main LGBT organization, UNIBAM. He says the law violates three sections of the country’s constitution and wants it changed so sex between consenting adults doesn’t count. At the moment a straight couple having anal sex are also breaking the law. UNIBAM is still awaiting a ruling on the case in May, which appeared to go well. But in the meantime, the government appears to be preparing.

It’s an important step that would give dignity to the country’s same sex couples, as well as providing them protection from a dangerous law.

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Singapore: High Court Upholds Sodomy Ban

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Singapore - google maps

from Google Maps

Singapore’s high court just upheld a ban on gay sex in the country.

LGBT Weekly reports:

Singapore High Court Justice Quentin Loh today released a judgment in the Constitutional challenge of statute 377A of the Singapore Penal Code, upholding the law which criminalizes sex between men and provides a jail term of up to two years. In a 54-page judgment, Justice Loh has “found that the statute has not infringed the rights of the plaintiff, Tan Eng Hong, and is not inconsistent with Articles 9 and 12 of the Constitution of Singapore, which ensures that one will not be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law and that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law, respectively,” according to a media statement issued by Tan’s lawyer, M Ravi.

You know your country is a long way away from marriage equality when they refuse to recognize your basic right to privacy.

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