Disapproving of gay sex as highly “immoral” and “against social order”, the Union Home Ministry on Thursday strongly opposed its decriminalisation before the Supreme Court.

Additional Solicitor-General (ASG) P.P. Malhotra, appearing for the Ministry, argued that the Indian society is different from other countries and it cannot imitate the practices prevailing in foreign countries.

“Gay sex is highly immoral and against social order and there is high chance of spreading of diseases through such acts,” ASG Malhotra contended before a Bench of Justices G.S Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya.

“Our Constitution is different and our moral and social values are also different from other countries, so we cannot follow them,” the ASG said, adding that societal disapproval of gay sex is strong enough reason to criminalise it.

Indian society disapproves of homosexuality and law cannot run separately from the society, he contended while opposing the Delhi High Court’s order, which had in 2009 decriminalised gay sex as provided in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC makes gay sex a criminal offence entailing a maximum punishable of life imprisonment.

Earlier, the Bench had said that homosexuality should be seen in the context of changing society as many things, which were earlier unacceptable have become acceptable with passage of time. The Bench had referred to the recent phenomena of live-in relationship, single parent and surrogacy.

The Supreme Court is hearing petitions filed by anti-gay rights activists and also by political, social and religious organisations, who have opposed the High Court verdict decriminalising homosexual behaviour.

The High Court judgement had sparked a controversy and several political, social and religious outfits have asked the Supreme Court to give the final verdict on the issue. Senior BJP leader B.P. Singhal, who had opposed in the High Court legalisation of gay sex, has challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court, saying such acts are illegal, immoral and against ethos of Indian culture.

Keywords: homosexualityLGBT

More In: National | News