India, operating under colonial-era laws criminalizing homosexuality, appears to be finally joining the debate over allowing privacy in relationships, and with gays campaigning to decriminalize the issue.
The same-sex community in India has been especially bolstered by speeches by federal health minister Anbumani Ramadoss. At the 17th International Conference on AIDS in Mexico city, Ramaoss said, “Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalizes men who have sex with other men, must go.”
“Structural discrimination against those who are vulnerable to HIV such as sex workers and men having sex with men must be removed if our prevention, care and treatment programs are to succeed,” he added.
The penal code section that makes homosexuality illegal has been a subject of much controversy. It states: “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”