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Hindu groups block move to decriminalize homosexual acts in India

December 17, 2013

In India, Hindu-nationalist leaders are strongly opposing a move to decriminalize homosexual acts.

Earlier this month, India’s supreme court overruled a decision by a Delhi court, and upheld 19th-century law prescribing penalties of up to 12 years in prison for homosexuality. The top court ruled that homosexual activity is a “crime against nature.”

The court’s ruling prompted an immediate outcry from gay-rights groups, and the Congress Party, the main force in the nation’s ruling coalition, proposed emergency legislation to decriminalize homosexuality. But that move was denounced by Rajnath Singh, the leader of the powerful Hindu-nationalist BJP party. In the populous northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the ruling Samajwadi Party also came out in opposition to decriminalization, as did the Shiv Sena party in Mumbai. As a result, the drive for emergency legislation has stalled.


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