Decriminalisation of gay sex: Govt leaves it to apex court, but goes only so far

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NEW DELHI: The Modi government slipped past the political challenge posed by conservative opinion and social biases against homosexuality by indicating it will not oppose decriminalisation of gay sex and leaving the decision to the Supreme Court.

The Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on Wednesday marks a break from the ambiguity of past governments, and the reluctance of the political class — otherwise voluble on issues regarding caste, quotas and religion — from being seen to be supportive of decriminalisation.

“As far as the constitutional validity of Section 377 to the extent it applies to ‘consensual acts of adults in private’ is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of the court,” the affidavit states.

The government’s stand, formulated after consultations involving the BJP brass, focuses closely on decriminalisation alone with strong emphasis that nothing more is under scrutiny. Legal status of gay couples,…

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