December 18, 2013 | by Staff reports
India’s gay sex ban could have harmful effect
India, Mahatma Gandhi, gay, homosexuality, sodomy, gay news, Washington Blade, Supreme Court of India

Demonstrators took to the streets in cities around the world, including D.C., last week to protest the India sodomy ruling.(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

NEW DELHI, India — Mental health officials here are saying making gay sex illegal again — as this country’s Supreme Court did last week when it overturned a 2009 ruling that had repealed the 153-year-old law — will lead to hidden depression and substance abuse among gays, the Telegraph, a Calcutta-based newspaper, reports.

Overturning a Delhi High Court ruling of July 2009, the Supreme Court upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes gay sex while suggesting the law may be amended through the legislative process.

“It can be mentally devastating to find that the law condemns an aspect of identity so basic to them,” said Shalini John, a clinical psychologist in New Delhi who has worked with gay people, to the Telegraph. “It can be extremely stressful and may push some towards clinical depression.”

“The suffering starts early, even during adolescence,” the Telegraph quoted Jen Wang, a Chinese-American psychiatric-epidemiologist at the University of Zurich, as saying. Wang and his colleagues have shown that even adolescent sexual minorities have higher levels of depression and anxiety than heterosexual adolescents.

Gay rights activists have expressed their determination to continue to campaign against Section 377, saying criminalizing gay sex between two consenting adults is tantamount to a human rights violation, the Telegraph article said.

1 Comment
  • Unless I am mistaken, what the Supreme Court reinstated was a law that banned sodomy. It says nothing about same-sex love. Many males over the course of history loved each other without having to engage in practices that were dangerous and harmful.

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