World

February 24, 2012

Indian Ministry Denies Calling Ban on Gay Sex

India’s home ministry disowned arguments made before the Supreme Court on Thursday by a top government lawyer that homosexuality was immoral, “against nature” and should be banned.

Additional solicitor general P P Malhotra said he was representing the ministry when he urged the court to overturn a landmark 2009 ruling that decriminalised gay sex between adults in India.

Gay sex “is highly immoral… against nature and spreads HIV,” Malhotra told the top court in New Delhi.

But the home ministry quickly released a statement distancing itself from Malhotra’s remarks and reiterated a previous cabinet decision not to appeal the 2009 ruling by the Delhi High Court.

“The ministry of home affairs has not taken any position on homosexuality,” the statement said, adding that it had “not given any instruction” to the solicitor general’s office. Ministry spokeswoman Ira Joshi said there appeared to have been some “miscommunication.”

The Supreme Court is hearing over a dozen petitions filed to overturn the ruling.

Text by the Independent
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