Anti-gay law is offshoot of British colonialism: Centre to Supreme Court

Anti-gay law is offshoot of British colonialism: Centre to Supreme Court
Anti-gay law in the country is an offshoot of British colonialism and the Indian society earlier was more tolerant towards homosexuality, the Centre submitted before theSupreme Court while pleading for decriminalisation of gay sex on Thursday.

"It would appear that the introduction of Section 377(making gay sex offence) in India was not a reflection of existing Indian values and traditions. Rather, it was imposed upon Indian society due to the moral views of the colonizers," attorney general G E Vahanwati submitted.

Appearing before a bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya, the AG submitted that government does not find any legal error in the judgment of Delhi high court decriminalising gay sex and accepts the correctness of the same.

"Indian society prevalent before the enactment of the IPC had a much greater tolerance for homosexuality than its British counterpart, which at that time was under the influence of Victorian morality and values in regard to family and the procreative nature of sex," he said while referring to various literature of colonial and pre-colonial times.

"It is submitted that the Government of India does not find any legal error in the judgment of the High Court and accepts the correctness of the same. This is also clear from the fact that it has not filed any appeal against the judgment of the High Court," he said.

The apex court was hearing petitions by anti-gay rights activists and also by political, social and religious organisations, opposing the high court verdict.

The Delhi high court had in 2009 decriminalised gay sex as provided in Section 377 of theIndian Penal Code (IPC) and had ruled that sex between two consenting adults in private would not be an offence.