The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

An Indian gay rights activist in New Delhi holds up a placard during a protest on Dec. 11, 2013, after the country's top court ruled that a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality will remain in effect in India.
An Indian gay rights activist in New Delhi holds up a placard during a protest on Dec. 11, 2013, after the country's top court ruled that a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality will remain in effect in India.
(Altaf Qadri/Associated Press)

AMRIT DHILLON

India’s gay-sex ruling reveals a country trapped between centuries

The ruling fell like a bomb. Liberal Indians and gay rights activists reeled in horror when, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court reinstated an archaic law under which gay sex is illegal.

They had expected the Supreme Court to rubber stamp a landmark 2009 ruling by the Delhi High Court that India’s 19th century law on homosexuality, dating back to Raj days – effectively banning gay sex – should not apply to consensual acts. Instead, the Court upheld the old law.