The Indian government has announced today that it will not stand in the way of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Currently Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code outlaws “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.”
The ban was actually lifted by the Delhi high court in 2009 but was reinstated four years later, garnering much international criticism, especially from the UN.
The law is set to change again, as the Supreme Court hears arguments for the legalisation of gay sex this week.
“We leave to the wisdom of the court to deal with the validity of Section 377 so far as it relates to consensual sexual acts between two adults,” said Tushar Mehta, a high-profile lawyer for the government, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
This comes just a month after India’s largest body of mental health professionals, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) declared that “homosexuality should not be treated as an illness.”