- December 12, 2014
Post submitted by Ashley Fowler, former HRC Global Coordinator
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of India reinstating Section 377 of the penal code, which criminalizes sexual acts that go “against the order of nature.” The Supreme Court of India voted on December 11, 2013 to reinstate the section, overturning the 2009 ruling of the High Court of Delhi, which declared the section unconstitutional.
Activists in India report that there has been a significant increase in crime against the LGBT community since the reinstatement. In an interview with The Financial Express, Abhina Aher, programme manager for Phechan, explained, “Across the country, we are getting many more reports about threats, intimidation, police harassment, rapes and especially cases of blackmail and extortion.”
In response to this recent spike in violence, LGBT activists gathered at a hearing in New Delhi yesterday to protest the reinstatement of Section 377. The hearing focused on consequences of India’s recriminalization of same-sex behavior and allowed individuals to share their personal stories.
K.G. Balakrishnan, Chair of the National Human Rights Commission of India and former Chief Justice, also spoke at this event organized by Alliance India. He stated, “Human rights of the LGBT community need protection, and they should not be categorized as criminals.”
India is one of 77 countries that currently criminalizes same-sex conduct.