Homosexuality became illegal again in India on December 11, 2013 after the Indian Supreme Court ruled that a colonial-era law banning gay sex was improperly struck down. With this move, LGBT Indians may now be eligible to seek asylum in the US as they face a realistic likelihood of persecution in India.
The ruling reverses a landmark judgment by a lower court, which in 2009 decided that an 1861 law that forbids “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal” was unconstitutional. The law, passed by the British, makes homosexuality punishable by 10 years in prison. Only Parliament can change that law, the Supreme Court ruled.
There is almost no chance that Parliament will act where the Supreme Court did not, advocates and opponents of the law agreed. And with the Bharatiya Janata Party, a conservative Hindu nationalist group, appearing in ascendancy before national elections in the spring, the prospect of any legislative change in the next few years is highly unlikely, analysts said.