Indian Supreme Court reserves verdict on anti-gay petitions

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The Supreme Court of India has reserved a verdict concerning a batch of appeals that challenged the Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising gay sex between consenting adults. 

The marathon hearing, under the bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya, began on February 15 and has drawn widespread media attention, both inside India and out.

The federal government came in for sharp criticism from the Court, having changed its position twice over the case, though in the end, the Attorney General confirmed that there would not be any appeal on their side against the verdict. He said that “insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private [before it was struck down by the High Court] was imposed upon Indian society due to the moral views of the British rulers.”

Several parents and relatives of sexual minorities testified in the court, asking that the original verdict not be overturned, as it would interfere with their right to life and liberty guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

However, all the major religious groups of India have strongly opposed the judgement, as have the Hindu-nationalist party, the BJP, and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights.