Supreme Court of India refuses to hear challenge to anti-homosexuality law

Opponents of India’s law banning same-sex relations, which has been a subject of controversy since it was reinstated in 2013, suffered a loss when the Supreme Court refused to hear a petition challenging it. 

Rather than hear the petition, the Supreme Court instructed petitioners to approach India’s Chief Justice, who is currently hearing a different challenge to the law. The top court of India previously ruled that only parliament can change it.

LGBT rights are a tense issue in India, where, according to Reuters, four years of decriminalization following a lower court ruling in 2009 brought what appeared to be increased openness about homosexuality. That ruling was overturned in 2013. Since then, despite criticism from Western countries, India has continued to punish offenders of the gay sex ban with up to 10 years in prison.

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