Life in prison for being gay in India?

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#1 Oct 26th, 2007, 11:06
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#1
This blog posted about the penalties in different countries for being gay. It says that in India one can be fined or get life in prison for being gay. I found this blog through another blog I regularly read.

While the law may be on the books, I find that really hard to believe! I'm curious -- does this really happen? could someone be "tried" and found gay and sent to jail?!?

sounds ludicrous to me!
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#2 Oct 26th, 2007, 11:24
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#2
Without knowing enough to comment on this, would like to point out ( again, as I do, with the Indian Penal Code ) that this 'offence' is part of the IPC, which is a British era 1860 penal code, the main intention of which was oppression.

That said, there is much that has been amended under the IPC, and many archaic laws which still remain, and need to be cleaned up asap. This is one of them.

I can't remember any news which mentioned somebody receiving a prison sentence for being gay, though I am sure some of our custodians of law and order would take this as another opportunity to line their pockets.
#3 Oct 26th, 2007, 11:27
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#3
the reason I ask is that people are getting up in arms about it on this blog I read and I commented that while the law is on the books, I have a feeling it's not enforced....
#4 Oct 26th, 2007, 11:36
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#4
I think it is hardly ever brought to court as a criminal offence.. can't recall any such case.

There is another recent thread here on IM on something like 'what happened to the campaign (signed by some prominent Indians/Indian origin folk) against the anti-gay law"

Just found this, which states
Quote:
Section 377 brackets gay sex with sex with animals and pedophilia, defining it as an "unnatural" offense, punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/15/news/india.php
#5 Oct 26th, 2007, 11:40
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#5
Life does sound a bit unusual for a country like India. Would thought that was the case for the countries to the west (of India).
#6 Oct 26th, 2007, 11:42
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#6
Also from my earlier link, bold mine.

Quote:
Although the law is rarely enforced, its presence sends a clear signal to law enforcement bodies, and police harassment of gay men is widespread.
#7 Oct 26th, 2007, 12:02
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#7
Quote:
The law is silent on gay marriages, and same-sex couples are taking advantage of this loophole to perform marriage ceremonies and live together.

Quote:
Since the law against homosexual sex was enacted under British colonial rule in 1861, fewer than 50 people have been convicted, mainly because judges tend to be lenient and authorities are reluctant to stir sexual controversy.
http://www.despardes.com/lifestyle/f...-marriages.htm



50 people convicted in more than 150 years. That's 1 every 3 years
#8 Oct 26th, 2007, 12:49
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#8
The law is quite necessary and is generally applied to men preying on boys. I have never read about a case in which it was applied to consesual sex.
It is necessary since in Indian law, rape does not cover sexual assult on men.
#9 Oct 26th, 2007, 17:14
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#9
That is just the kind of argument that has been used in UIK, where homosexual acts were illegal until just a few decades ago.

You might as well say that sex should be illegal to prevent men preying on girls.

For a start, it is a deeply offensive thing to assume that homosexual men are any more predatory than heterosexual men, and particularly so to associate them with the revolting crime of child abuse.

Child abuse of all varieties is common in India anyway, and I can't imagine that this law, this out-of-date and always-wrong piece of British Victorian hypocritical prudery has ever made any difference.

Your second point fails by the same logic, and again reflects the situation in British law. I do not know the current state of English law on this one; certainly a few years ago there was no such thing as 'rape' committed by a man on a man --- although prosecution could be brought for indecent assault. If one law can be changed, so can another!

There is still no such thing as rape within marriage in India --- a woman's body is her husband's property, just as it was in UK until a few decades ago.

Oh... and perhaps we should mention, on the single women travelling alone threads, that they should leave their vibrators at home, as these are illegal in India. A law that doesn't look like changing any time soon as it has been discussed an supported only recently by politicians.
#10 Oct 26th, 2007, 17:42
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#10
In keeping with the Capt.'s comments, I think reading up on this before I found some references (on gay activist sites, I think) that the law hadn't actually been applied for a decade or maybe several, I don't remember precisely, it must be in some thread.

And like the Capt. says, there was recent mention here of some case to abolish the law altogether which apparently has been up in court forever, and according to that poster was likely to remain so for a while.
#11 Oct 26th, 2007, 17:58
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#11
Purely going by newspaper reports, it is the sadhus that make up the majority of those charged under this Section.

I am not sure what is the popular opinion regarding this law. It is truely a beauty of India that most people are not even aware of such a law.
Last edited by machadinha; Oct 26th, 2007 at 18:21.. Reason: merged posts
#12 Oct 26th, 2007, 19:00
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#12
Nick- I'd love to know the wording of the law that says that vibrators are illegal in India. Would that include my parents vibrating massager (!) I wonder?
#13 Oct 26th, 2007, 19:14
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyl View Post Nick- I'd love to know the wording of the law that says that vibrators are illegal in India. Would that include my parents vibrating massager (!) I wonder?
I am not sure about the wordings...but its not only about vibrators..its sex toys...

Few months back there was a lot of hue and cry over a condom which had a vibrating ring !! Not sure what happened to it though...
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#14 Oct 26th, 2007, 19:22
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogaGal View Post This blog posted about the penalties in different countries for being gay. It says that in India one can be fined or get life in prison for being gay. I found this blog through another blog I regularly read.

While the law may be on the books, I find that really hard to believe! I'm curious -- does this really happen? could someone be "tried" and found gay and sent to jail?!?

sounds ludicrous to me!

Hi YogaGal,

The first time i went to India i thought "OMG everyone is gay" (lol).
All the young men were holding hands and walking with there arms around each other.....its strange how we from the west can sometimes interprut things and i now realise how narrow minded and naive i was. And i have learnt a bit about Indian Culture since my first visit 9 years ago.

Anyway, sorry i know i am slightly off thread just thought i would throw that in for some of the newbies to bare in mind.

Regards,
Remy
#15 Oct 26th, 2007, 20:29
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#15
thanks for your comments!
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