Indian Health Minister Talks Gay Decriminalisation
Anbumani Ramadoss, India’s Union Health Minister, has garnered praise from the Indian gay community after publically advocating the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country.
Homosexuality is illegal in India, falling under the infamous Section 337 of the Indian Penal Code, which has been reproduced in several other British colonies. Speaking as part of an official address at this year’s International Conference on AIDS in Mexico City, Ramadoss said that Section 377 “must go.”
Indian gay rights activists, such as Aditya Bandhopadhyay, praised the health minister for his statement, hoping that cabinet members will eventually heed the message:
In spite of section 377, homosexuals have continued to live, love and have sex in India, so it is really immaterial to the IPC act. It has only stigmatised and made homosexuals more vulnerable, thereby increasing their risks of contracting HIV, which ultimately is a public health concern.
The health minister’s condemnation of Section 377 comes only weeks after it was striken from Panama’s lawbooks. Several other countries still enforce it.
- Gays upbeat over Ramadoss’ support [Hindustan Times]