India politician launches petition to end anti-gay law

An Indian politician has launched a petition to end his country’s anti-gay law.

Shashi Tharoor, an MP for the opposition Indian National Congress party, introduced a private members bill to repeal the statute that criminalizes gay sex earlier this month. But the lower house of India’s parliament voted 71-24 against it.

‘The Indian government is reluctant to amend the law. My private member’s bill was recently defeated in parliament, but I’m not giving up,’ Tharoor wrote on the petition page.

‘Section 377 should be amended so that all consensual sex between consenting adults irrespective of gender and sexuality is legal. But it should not legitimize forced sex, pedophilia or pederasty.

‘Sign my petition and help me show the prime minister that Indians want Section 377 to be amended.’

At the time of writing, more than 20,000 people had signed the petition.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code punishes consensual sex between men by up to life imprisonment. A Delhi High Court struck down the colonial era law in 2009. However, the Supreme Court reversed its decision in December 2013.

‘Your sexual preferences, sexuality, and partner should be your choice. Unfortunately Indian law doesn’t think so,’ Tharoor continued.

‘It impacts the LGBTQ community, it even impacts married heterosexual couples. It’s a law that can be used to oppress and harass.

‘Section 377 is a British relic, drafted in 1860 and based on outdated Victorian morals. It has no place in a modern nation like India.’