India recriminalises gay sex as Australia bans gay marriage

India gay rights demonstration

Anger on Indian streets as 'unexpected' Supreme court decision reinstates 153-year-old law

LAST UPDATED AT 09:59 ON Thu 12 Dec 2013

AS same-sex couples in the UK contemplate getting married next year the rights of homosexuals in Australia and India have taken significant steps backwards.

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), about 30 same-sex marriages will be annulled in the coming days after the high court struck down the country's first same-sex marriage law, The Guardian reports.

Meanwhile, protestors have taken to the streets in India after its Supreme Court reversed a judgement that had decriminalised gay sex in the country. The law, which is 153-years-old and based on 16th-century English legislation, states that "carnal intercourse" between consenting adults of the same sex is "unnatural" and punishable by up to ten years in jail.

The Guardian says the Indian ruling was "unexpected" and has provoked shock and anger. Activists had expected the court to "rubber-stamp" the original 2009 ruling. Now India will rejoin the more than 70 countries – mainly in Africa, the Middle East and south Asia – where homosexual relations are illegal, the paper says.

The ruling by Australia's high court, that the ACT's "marriage equality law" could not sit concurrently with the federal provision that marriage is between a man and a woman, was not unexpected. Indeed some gay activists have found cause for optimism in another part of the ruling: a clear finding that the federal parliament has the constitutional power to introduce a national law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

David Marr, writing in the Australian edition of The Guardian, says equal marriage campaigners should be "celebrating" the high court's decision.

Why? Because the high court "has done remarkable work", says Marr. "It went out of its way to declare that that there are no historical, religious or constitutional barriers to same-sex marriage in Australia. The way is open so long as the law is national."

Same-sex marriage campaigners in California have experienced similarly mixed fortunes. Gay unions were legalised then outlawed in 2008 by a constitutional amendment known as Proposition 8. The amendment was defeated in 2011 and same-sex couples are now free to marry in the state.

In India there is little optimism after the crushing decision by the Supreme Court.

Gautam Bhan, a prominent gay activist, told The Guardian: "It's a tremendous blow. It's unprecedented for a court with a long history of expanding rights to reduce dignity, not protect it." · 

Disqus - noscript

Marriage is between a man and a woman.
Why don't the homosexuals be content with civil partnerships?
At least in a traditional marriage we know which one to address as Mrs and which one is Mr.
Wolfenden has a lot to answer for!

Noob

The law was rammed through in the UK and France, expect that to be reversed as well.

Unwanted Progressive nonsense.

I appreciate India, Australia for their strong stand for traditional home values. It's actually shame to grow children here in our culture now. What will be the future of our children? Some kids are going to be raised by two same sex? A child need the warmth of a mother and the strength of a father.

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