India's Supreme Court has reversed a landmark 2009 decision to decriminalize gay sex, reinstating a law that prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman, or animal." The law's reinstatement means same-sex conduct is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
According to The Advocate, The court declared the earlier decision, which deemed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional, was an overreach. The Supreme Court determined that only Parliament had the power to repeal the anti-sodomy law, one that was enacted by the British back in 1861, when th country was a U.K. colony.
"No doubt about it, today’s ruling is a setback," said Sapna Pandya, president of Khush D.C., a support group based in Washington, D.C., for LGBT South Asians. "But it doesn’t take away from the fact that the recent past has seen promise for LGBTQ rights in not just India but also other South Asian countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. We stand in solidarity with the brave activists in South Asia and worldwide who have taken such huge leaps in recent years and know they will continue the fight for equality in spite of the disappointment we all feel today."
Fortunately activists aren't taking this lying down, taking to the streets and the media to protest the decision.