Concern about lesbian and gay rights in India

“We are concerned about the decision by India’s Supreme Court that a provision of the Indian penal code on sex between persons of the same gender is not in contravention of the Constitution. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a violation of human rights,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

“We are concerned about the decision by India’s Supreme Court that a provision of the Indian penal code on sex between persons of the same gender is not in contravention of the Constitution.  Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a violation of human rights,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The decision of India’s Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Delhi High Court that sex between two persons of the same gender is not a criminal offence, as that would be in contravention of India’s Constitution and its fundamental principles of equality before the law and non-discrimination.

“India’s Supreme Court has ruled that parliament will have to amend the legislation. We understand that the provision has not been used for many years, but we believe that it is now time to formally repeal this remnant from colonial times,” said Mr Brende.

“I am pleased that the leader of the Indian National Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, and the Indian Government have made it clear that they want to see the legislation amended to remove all doubts about whether homosexuality and homosexual practice are allowed in India,” said Mr Brende.

Norway is concerned about the pressure on LGBT people internationally and the violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation that is occurring. Norway is part of a group of like-minded countries in the UN Human Rights Council and in the UN General Assembly that is seeking to put this issue higher up on the UN agenda.