News / Asia

    India Seeks Reversal in Gay Ban Ruling

    A group of Indian activists hold a banner against section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality during a protest in Mumbai, India, Dec. 11, 2013.
    A group of Indian activists hold a banner against section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality during a protest in Mumbai, India, Dec. 11, 2013.
    VOA News
    India's government has asked the country's highest court to reconsider its recent ruling upholding the criminalization of homosexual sex.

    New Delhi filed the plea Friday with the Supreme Court.

    Earlier last week, the top court revived a colonial-era law making gay sex an offense punishable by life imprisonment.

    After the ruling came down on December 11, homosexuals and gay rights activists in several Indian cities took their anger and anguish to the streets to protest against the verdict. Large rallies were held on December 15, drawing protesters from all levels of society.
     
    “They [the judiciary] should not take away our rights. If we like someone, want to live with them then they should let us be,” said Bobby Dey, who was among those protesting the ruling Kolkata.
     
    On the day, protesters took to the roads with rainbow-colored banners and posters to denounce the top court's judgment, observing the phase as the darkest in Indian judiciary.
     
    “We are all here today, all the minority, as well as the mainstream population of Calcutta. Everyone has joined hands to stand for human rights and to stand against Section 377, which is against human rights in all respects,” said a protester, Shalini Bhattacharya.
     
    On the same day, the southern city of Chennai also witnessed protests as people staged a march, carrying banners and shouting slogans, to express their dismay.
     
    The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community faces a social stigma in India, where hugging and kissing in public even among heterosexual couples is strongly frowned upon.
     
    For most of the India's 2.5 million gays, strong religious and family values mean many homosexuals choose to hide their sexuality for fear of discrimination, while attacks by police, especially in rural areas, are common.
     
    However, the open support being presented by a large chunk of the society after the Supreme Court ruling is being seen as a progressive step in a traditional country like India.
     
    The 2009 ruling to exempt gay sex between consenting adults from the ban was the result of a case brought by the Naz Foundation, an Indian sexual rights organization, which fought a legal battle for almost a decade.
     
    After the Delhi High Court ruling in its favor, a collective of mostly faith-based groups took an appeal to the Supreme Court.

    Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora