US voices 'concern' at India gay sex ban

By AFP
Published: December 12, 2013
Email
US opposes the action that criminalizes same-sex conduct between adults in India. PHOTO: FILE

US opposes the action that criminalizes same-sex conduct between adults in India. PHOTO: FILE

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday voiced concern about a ruling by India’s Supreme Court which reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex which could see same-sex lovers imprisoned.

“We oppose any action that criminalizes consensual same-sex conduct between adults,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

“The United States places great importance on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people. And … that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons around the world.”

A two-judge bench in India earlier Wednesday struck down a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court ruling which had found that a section of the Indian penal code prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” was an infringement of Indians’ fundamental rights.

The bench ruled Wednesday that the High Court had overstepped its authority and that an 1860 law passed by the British was still valid.

“Any action that criminalizes consensual same-sex conduct between adults that doesn’t recognize that fundamental freedoms of people include their right to sexual orientation – those are issues that we certainly would be concerned about,” Psaki added.

US concerns had been expressed to Indian authorities, she added.

The court ruling came a day after Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.

The ministers had discussed ways to deepen the US-India partnership, and Washington had also accepted an invitation to serve as a partner country for India’s technology summit and expo in New Delhi in late 2014, Psaki said.

Gay sex has long been a taboo subject in conservative India, where homophobic tendencies abound and many still regard being gay as a mental illness.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (6)

  • Alann
    Dec 12, 2013 - 2:44PM

    Indian politicians will be taking up the LGBT matter in Parliament soon enough, with or without US’ “concern”. Instead of covering this useless news which no party in India will be paying heed to about what the US has to say in this regard, ET should have covered what else did the US say yesterday – about taking steps to remove the ridiculous ‘resolution’ introduced to bar Modi of BJP from entering US, now that he is being ‘confirmed’ as the upcoming PM of India. That would have been a real news instead of this.

    Recommend

  • Dec 12, 2013 - 4:13PM

    keep it up USA…your leading the way with the gay agenda ! and preparing your own destruction.

    Recommend

  • @Alann
    Dec 12, 2013 - 4:24PM

    The fact that we homosexuals are criminals simply for loving each other is an issue. Please don’t drag this under the rug because of your petty nationalism.

    Recommend

  • Shining??????
    Dec 12, 2013 - 5:21PM

    Indeed a very sad day for shining india. We will not back down and make sure freedom of indian citizens is respected at every level. It’s our right to choose what pleases us. If we prefer same gender then who is judicial court to interfere in our lives.
    We will be glorified following the western example of liberalism.

    Recommend

  • Alann
    Dec 12, 2013 - 6:39PM

    @Whoever that replied to me
    I simply stated ET shouldn’t give so much importance to such news about US ‘concerns’ over LGBT in India – Law is going to be changed either way and this issue will be fixed soon, even if US hadn’t expressed their “concern” about it. India considers US as an equal partner and not all of US’ “concerns” matter to India as India does not have to beg for any type of assistance to US.
    Giving importance to what the US said on the same day about Modi, would have been a more important news article rather than this, but its not even mentioned – and this is!

    Recommend

  • Naresh
    Dec 13, 2013 - 2:00AM

    US voices ‘concern’ at India gay sex ban :
    .
    Does the USA voice its “CONCERN” at the over 50 Islamic Countries which ban “Gay Sex” or may be another 50 Christian Countries which also ban “Gay Sex”.
    .
    Since the USA is concerned at India banning “Gay Sex” then the USA must provide all the Gays in India with a Immigrant Visa to the USA so that these Gays of Indian Origin can reap the benefits of a Happy and Gay Life in the USA and the American can also add Colour to their Gay Life!
    .
    Cheers

    Recommend

More in World