In India, Congress Party member of parliament Shashi Tharoor hasn’t been deterred by the defeat of his private member’s bill to decriminalize homosexuality.
When he tabled it on Dec. 18, the bill was immediately voted out of Parliament as soon as it was introduced, with 71 voting “no” and only 24 “yes.”
“My Private Member’s Bill was recently defeated in Parliament, but I’m not giving up,” he said.
His petition on Change.org has been signed by nearly 20,000 people. It states:
Your sexual preferences, sexuality, and partner should be your choice. Unfortunately Indian law doesn’t think so.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code gives the state the authority to investigate what’s happening in your bedroom.
Section 377 makes any sex apart from penile-vaginal intercourse between a man and a woman illegal.
It impacts the LGBTQ community, it even impacts married heterosexual couples.
It’s a law that can be used to oppress and harass.
The Indian government is reluctant to amend the law. My Private Member’s Bill was recently defeated in Parliament, but I’m not giving up.
Section 377 should be amended so that all consensual sex between consenting adults irrespective of gender and sexuality is legal. But it should not legitimise forced sex, pedophilia or pederasty.
Sign my petition and help me show the Prime Minister that Indians want Section 377 to be amended.
Section 377 is a British relic, drafted in 1860 and based on outdated Victorian morals. It has no place in a modern nation like India.
In amending Section 377, I am upholding the values of our Constitution. The Bill supports our constitutional freedoms – the Right to Privacy and Dignity under Article 21, the Right to Equality under Article 14, and the Right against Discrimination under Article 15.
Sign my petition and help me build support to amend Section 377. If enough of us speak up, we can make the Prime Minister rethink Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Tharoor charged that the immediate rejection of his bill was caused by “extremely intolerant” members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Typically, “at this stage, it’s a very routine procedure,” he said.
DNA India reported that Thadoor said, “That there are so many people in the ruling party present on the government benches who are expressing their intolerance and homophobia in this manner is very revelatory. After all, what we are talking about is human freedom, human privacy, human dignity.”
Gay Star News, in its list of wishes for 2016, pleaded for progress in India: “The end of 2015 saw a major disappointment as India’s government voted against a private members’ bill to decriminalize homosexuality. But it was from a politician on the opposite side of the government. With supportive lawmakers in powerful positions, could another vote swing in favor of equality?”
- Constitutional Responsibility to Repeal Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (Dec. 11, 2015, Orinam)
- Sign Online Petition Urging PM Modi to Fulfill His Constitutional Responsibility by Repealing Section 377 (Dec. 11, 2015, Gaylaxy)
- India turns back the clock, restores anti-gay law (December 2013, 76crimes.com)
- 25 Powerful Pictures From India’s Largest Gay Pride Parade Since Section 377 Was Reinstated (buzzfeed.com)
- Roman Catholic leaders in India support LGBT rights (76crimes.com)
- India: Growing LGBTI openness, despite legal setback (76crimes.com)
- US State Department urges India to end anti-gay law (pinknews.co.uk)