Like another slap in the face to many Indians just a year after the horrific Delhi gang rape tragedy, the Supreme Court of the world’s largest democracy has taken an enormous step backwards with their decision to once again make homosexuality a crime—effectively turning millions of gay and lesbian Indians into instant criminals with Section 377.
It is hard to believe that in 2013 this court actually overturned a 2009 lower court ruling that decriminalized the same colonial law that was in effect from the 1860s when Britain ruled over South Asia. While human rights groups have for years vigorously campaigned on behalf of the LGBT community there, conservatives and religious groups continue to refer to homosexuality between consenting adults as a threat to traditional Indian culture.
Since the ruling a few days ago, mass public protests against the latest ruling have occurred in cities throughout India (and the world)—giving another face to this archaic, illogical legality.
While the media tends to focus on the ruling itself, it is encouraging to witness the throngs of citizens who clearly oppose the court’s decision and do not want it to reflect on their own beliefs:
The Supreme Court decision isn’t set in stone, however. This issue could conceivably be brought up again in general polls in a few months, but with the coalition government struggling to maintain its power, many Indians fear that gay rights will be pushed under the political rug again—despite the fact that their cultural norms have shifted from days past.