Court pulls up government for calling homosexuality a diseaseOctober 20th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) Delhi High court Monday pulled up the government for terming homosexuality as a disease and arguing that, if legalized, it would lead to spreading of a disease.Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra, appearing for the government, contended that homosexuality is a disease which is responsible for the spread of AIDS in the country, inviting objection from a division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah.
“Show us one report which says that it is a disease. A WHO (World Health Organisation) report says that it is not a disease but you are describing it as a disease. It is an accepted fact that it is a main vehicle that causes (AIDS) disease but it is not a disease itself,” the bench said.
Malhotra had said: “The AIDS is already spreading in the country and if gay sex is legalised then people on the street would start indulging in such practices saying that the court has given approval for it.”
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by gay rights activists seeking decriminalisation of gay sex among consenting adults, which, at present, is an offence.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code provides a punishment up to life imprisonment for indulging in gay sex.
Every citizen has the right to lead a decent and moral life in society and the right would be violated if such behaviour (gay sex) is legalised, Malhotra said adding that allowing gay sex would pose a health hazard to society.
Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B.P. Singhal, opposing decriminalisation of homosexuality, described it as an evil exported from western countries.
“If the court allows such acts then it would spread ‘male prostitution’ and the epidemic of AIDS would further spread. We would no longer be a country called India if Section 377 is removed and such behaviour is allowed,” advocate H.V. Sharma appearing for the political leader said.