Wednesday, February 3, 2016

[Editorial # 56] Hope floats again on Section 377 : The Hindu

[Following editorial has been published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2016. Read through it and try to answer the questions that follow. Please do not copy and paste answers. The objective of this exercise is to get you in the groove of answer-writing. Try to write in your own words. Don't hesitate to write in a bulleted-format, if you are uncomfortable in writing in paragraph form.]

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex, reflects only medieval prejudice. A lost opportunity to invalidate it has been dramatically resurrected. Two years ago, the Supreme Court declined to review its retrograde decision of 2013 upholding the validity of Section 377. By rejecting the review petition, the court then failed to make use of an opportunity to revisit the contentious Suresh Kumar Koushal verdict and bring the law in line with its own vision of fundamental rights, especially the idea that equality and dignity cannot be denied to any section. The court has now paved the way for a comprehensive hearing on how to protect the dignity and rights of individuals with alternative sexual orientation by referring the matter to a five-judge Constitution Bench. The Chief Justice has noted that the case involves questions with constitutional dimensions. The court has indicated that the larger Bench could traverse beyond the limits of a curative petition, which is essentially a limited, additional remedy to aggrieved litigants after the Supreme Court’s final verdict and the rejection of a review. There is new hope that the Delhi High Court judgment of 2009, reading down Section 377 to restrict its criminal import to non-consensual sexual acts involving adults and all sexual acts inflicted on minors, may be restored.

The latest challenge to its continuance on the statute book comes in a fresh context where the intervening years have seen considerable legal progress in the jurisprudence of sexual orientation and gender identity. In April 2014, while recognising the transgender community as a third gender entitled to the same rights and constitutional protection as other citizens, a Bench of the Supreme Court subtly recorded its criticism of Koushal. Departing from the Koushal formulation that there was no evidence that Section 377 was an instrument of harassment, the Bench had highlighted the misuse of the provision as one of the principal forms of discrimination against the transgender community. Further, it observed that “even though insignificant in numbers”, transgenders were entitled to human rights. That was obviously a rebuttal of the earlier Bench’s claim that those affected by Section 377 were only a “minuscule fraction of the population”, as though the relative smallness of a group’s size disentitled it from constitutional protection. On the global front, the United States Supreme Court held last year that the gay community was entitled to due process and equal protection in the matter of marriage, thus allowing same-sex marriages. In view of these developments, the time has come for an honest judicial evaluation of where India stands on the issue of homosexuality. Some may argue that it is up to the legislature to remedy the situation. In the backdrop of a provision that continues to have criminal and public health consequences for a section of society, the court has a duty to enforce their fundamental rights rather than wait for the political class to come up with a legislative remedy.


1. Explain the following terms:
Review petition
Curative petition

2. Write a short note on Sec 377 of Indian Penal Code.

3. What is Indian Penal Code? When was it codified?

4. Why is the current case being referred to a larger bench? Mention a few instances from the past when similar such referrals have been made.

5. What are the various stands taken by different countries on homosexuality?

6. What are the various arguments given in favour of and against homosexuality in terms of its acceptability in Indian society?

7. Comment on the social conditions when IPC Sec 377 was enacted and its relevance in modern day Indian society.

8. Do you think Parliament has failed to protect the rights of LGBT community and the highest judiciary is well within its Constitutional mandates to protect their rights? Explain with examples how the Indian judiciary has played a role in bridging the legislative gaps left by the Parliament.


    any petition is filed before the aggrieved person unsatisfied by the judgement entertained by the SC which in general is binding decision can be reviewed by the SC on review petition.
    any gross injustice done in any judgement can be rectitied by the SC by accepting the curative petition. However, the curative petition has to the certified by senior lawyer and has to be circulated among the 3 senior judges who quashed the review petition.If majority agrees then the matter comes to hearing.
    curative petition generally be filed in cases of violation of natural justice

  2. 2. Write a short note on Sec 377 of Indian Penal Code.
    A. sec 377 of IPC has its roots during the british rule. This law criminalises the sexual activity which is against the nature of law. Though it is applicable to both homo and hetero sexual cases, homosexuals are being targetted.
    Hence, the delhi HC judgement in 2009 declared the sec 377 as unconstitutional. then a lot of religious and fundamentalist organisations filed a petition before the SC.
    then the SC in koushal v. Naz foundation upheld the section 377 of IPC by overriding the delhi HC judgement.
    Then a review petition was filed before the SC which was quashed.
    after a lot of debate and discussions, the curative petition was accepted by the SC.
    according to the deccan herald report

  3. 3. What is Indian Penal Code? When was it codified?
    A. on the recommendations of the first law commission of india the IPC was codified in 1860. It comprehensively deal with criminal code in india.the LCI was established in 1834.

  4. 3. INDIAN PENAL CODE: - Indian Penal code is primarily contained of all the provision regarding criminal issues. It deals with all the aspects and dimension of the criminal law of Indian Judiciary System.
    the Indian Penal Code 1860 ,Central Act 45 of 1860 (IPC) - was the first work codification of criminal law, done by Thomas Macaulay during British Empire in India

  5. 6. What are the various arguments given in favour of and against homosexuality in terms of its acceptability in Indian society?
    A. the gay activists and the human right activists favors the judgement of the DELHI HC which decriminalises homosexuality. As the suppression by the state affects the fundamental rights under articles 14, 15 and 19 which affects the holistic rights of the individual. Moreover, the activist argue that such laws which are against the humanity are being misused by the police. In a report of deccan herald , there are morethan 750 cases registered due to the law as it criminalises " the carnal intercourse against the order of nature". Hence the gay activists demand for the protection of minority rights which is the responsibility of the judiciary.
    However, on the other side there are religious organisations which argue that no religion promotes the "unnatural sex" as it doesnot serve any purpose. They argue that bringing law against homosexuality will derail the morals of the society and it may encourage the younger minds who are immature. Hence they argue support for the judgement of the SC order of 2013.

    1. agt homosexuality:
      to prevent child abuse

  6. 8. On one side member of the parliament argues that, the matter should go up to the Supreme Court and the court should decide this. On the other side, the court has said the Parliament should see to it. The government and the court should not play this ball game with our society and with people’s freedom and democracy.
    This critivcal matter should not be considered on morality value, but as a human and constitutional right. Section 377 should be dismissed. Both the pillars are histating to take the responsibility of the future of the LGBT community. If parliament genuinly wants to scrap the article 377, it could work out over this, and there would not be a major clash between the Parliament and the Judiciary this time. But the factor of public opinion or the factor of vote bank is somewhere playing its inevitable role behind the vien. Echoing similar sentiments, another member of the LGBT community said that the section must be reviewed and the government should look into the matter.
    Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex, reflects only medieval prejudice. A lost opportunity to invalidate it has been dramatically resurrected. Two years ago, the Supreme Court declined to review its retrograde decision of 2013 upholding the validity of Section 377. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes homosexual acts, stating it is against the order of nature. Some vital members of the current government are arguing that the Supreme court rulings of 2013 and the Delhi High Court ruling of 2014 should revisit and review the previous rulings, and Courts are accountable for such a critical state of LGBT community. If we only talk about the action of the parliament, then the parliament is free and powerfull enough to come up with concrete decision regarding article 377 (whether it is in favor or not). Thus, as of now, the parliament is setting another example of its failure to protect the right of the LGBT community.
    After the bill of the parliament, Judiciary could only guide or recommend some of the aspects based on the humanistic ethical or moral foundations.

  7. 7. LGBT Section 377 , Indian Penal Code, 1860 was enacted by the British colonial regime to criminalise 'carnal intercourse against the order of nature'. Indian society till the time of 17th and 18th century was extremely conservative. But from mid - 18th century, several social reforms came into existence. Tghese social reforms were introduced regading the Indian caste system, sati sytem, child merriage system and women and depressed class upliftment. In the middle of these reforms Britishers also enacted the LGBT section 377 to arrest the gay relationships and marriages. Indian history communicates about the same sex relationships, which were also prevelent in Middle East kingdoms and some of the European kindoms as well during arround 1000 years back. When the section was enacted, it did not face any sort of opposition and neither it got any form of attention.
    People were not even aware of such provisions, and hence, total focus towards independence solely was considered as priority. But as the Indian society catched its growth acceleration, the mental state also widened. This change in peoples opinion and conservative mindset further realised the importance of human rights and rights of transgenders as well. During new schools of Modernism, Scientific Revolution, globalisation, westernization etc. Indian society got seriously migeled with various societies and cultures in dimentional manner. All these factors directly or indirectly influenced the Indian culture and the existence of communities, other than absolute men and women, were also accepted in the society. Slightly some countries like Denmark, Norway, some European nations, and now last year USA also gave it green signal. These international issues has not forced the indian parliament and judiciary systems to pay some deep heed towards the LGBT community.

  8. 7. Comment on the social conditions when IPC Sec 377 was enacted and its relevance in modern day Indian society.
    A. On the recommendations of the 1st law commission of india, IPC was enacted as a comprehensive criminal law which came into force in 1862. THe following are the conditions that were prevailiing at that time.
    the male dominated society was in existence where there are no rights for women in any matters.
    1. Responsible government:- the end of the revolt of 1857 lead to the enactment of charter act of 1858. Thus the british governemt declared an end to the expansionary policy and to act as a responsible governement.Thus it was the time of beginning of stability in the society unlike earlier loss of life, battles which were highly unstable.
    3. belief in spiritualism:- It is said that the battle of 1857 is due to the belief in the sages who envisioned that it was the time for battle were the driving force among some fighters. Hence the country has not yet seen the ideals of rationalism and scientific temper.Hence it was the period of dark ages in india.
    no idea of nationalism yet developed: the idea of nationalim came after the 1885 formation of congress on the recommendations of MN Roy. Hence, the struggle for independence is a disctict dream and long way to go.
    Under such circumstances the act of IPC was enacted by Macauley. The social issues that are today are:
    caste discrimination:- The historical error in indian society still exists in villages though it's influence on urban centers showing declining trend.
    class distinction:- the gap between the rich and poor is getting broader.
    women empowerment:- Though 48% of our population in india just 11% of women present in parliament.
    the patriarchical system that exist today is the extension of the beliefs of earlier society.

  9. 1. The parties, who are aggrieved by the order of the Supreme Court / High Court, due to any error in it, can file a review petition. This power has been conferred on the SC by Article 137 of the Constitution. It acts as an exemption to the legal principle of stare decisis.
    A civil review petition can be moved in accordance with Order XLVII, Rule 1(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Whereas a criminal review petition can be moved only on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record.
    Even after dismissal of a review petition, the SC may consider a curative petition in order to prevent abuse of its process and to cure gross miscarriage of justice. To entertain the curative petitions, the court has laid down certain specific conditions:
    1. The petitioner will have to establish that there was a genuine violation of principles of natural justice and fear of the bias of the judge and judgment that adversely affected him.
    2. The petition shall state specifically that the grounds mentioned had been taken in the review petition and that it was dismissed by circulation.
    3. The curative petition must accompany certification by a senior lawyer relating to the fulfillment of the above requirements.
    4. The petition is to be sent to the three senior most judges and judges of the bench who passed the judgment affecting the petition, if available.
    5. If the majority of the judges on the above bench agree that the matter needs hearing, then it would be sent to the same bench (as far as possible).
    6. The court could impose “exemplary costs” to the petitioner if his plea lacks merit.

  10. 8. Do you think Parliament has failed to protect the rights of LGBT community and the highest judiciary is well within its Constitutional mandates to protect their rights? Explain with examples how the Indian judiciary has played a role in bridging the legislative gaps left by the Parliament.
    A. Right to live with decent living is fundamental rights. However, the failure of the parliament to enact such laws which ensures sexual rights of the LGBT , a basic requirement for holistic development of individual is not addressed.
    The traditional prejudices of "having natural orientation" in the society as a whole and parliament in specific failed to legislate laws in favour of LGBTs.
    However, SC within its purview reversed the judgement of delhi HC but kept the ball in the court of parliament which is entrusted with responsibility to make laws. However, the judiciary failed to realise that protecting the fundamental rights of the minorities is the obligation on itself as a gurardian of the constitution. Instead it advised the parliament to make law.

  11. Under Article 137 of the Constitution of India the Supreme court has the power to review its own order or Judgment.This Article has to be read with Article 145 of the Constitution of India wherein the Supreme court has the power to make rules for the practice in the supreme court. with regard to the same the Supreme court has made the Supreme court rules, 1966.
    Under the supreme court rules, the procedure to be followed for review petiton is laid down under Part VIII Order XL. Those are as follows:
    1.The court has the power to review its order or judgment but no review will be entertained in a civil proceeding except on the ground provided under order XLVII,rule 1 of code of civil procedure, further there will be no review in a criminal proceeding except if there was an error apparent on the face of record.
    2.It should be filed within 30days after the passing of judgment and the grounds for review should be clearly stated in the review petition.
    3.The review petition is generally disposed of without any oral arguments unless provided otherwise by the court.
    4.As far as practicable the review petition will be sent to the same judges who delivered the judgment from which review is being sought. It might happen that some judge would have retired before filing of the review petiton then in that case its not possible for the same bench to decide the review petition.
    5.after review petition has been disposed of no further petition will be entertained on the same matter.

    Curative Petition

    The Curative Petition has now created an exception from the point no.5 as laid down in the Supreme court rules.
    Under Article 142 the supreme court has got the power to pass any judgment or decree to do complete justice. Curative petition was born from the judgment delivered by the constitution bench of the Supreme Court in the case of Rupa Ashok Hurra v. Ashok Hurra and Anr. and hs its life from Article 142 of the Constitution of India.
    There are several grounds that has to be fulfilled before the curative petition has to be accepted:
    1. there should be violation of natural justice and gross mis-carriage of justice.
    2.The curative petition should state the grounds to be adjudicated had already been brought in review petition and it was dismissed by the court.
    3.The grounds have to be certified by a senior lawyer.
    4.Then further the petition has to be sent to the 3 senior most judges of the supreme court and to the judges which decided the review petition.
    5.if the majority of judges as mentioned in the point 4 approves that the petitioner should be given hearing then it will be accepted as a curative petition.

  12. 3. The Indian Penal Code is the major criminal code of India, comprehensive in its content and attempting to deal with all the substantive aspects of the criminal law in India. The Indian Penal Code , the structure of which was based on the law of England but greatly improved was first drafted on the basis of the recommendations of the law commission of India under the leadership of Thomas Macaulay. This Law Commission was established under the Government of India Act 1833 and came into force in India during the early British Raj period in 1862. As a result of its regressive and retrogressive elements characteristic of the colonial period, it is often viewed as highly inappropriate for the present day scenario and in dire need of revamping.
    The Indian Penal Code when first implemented in 1862, did not apply to the Princely states which had their own sets of criminal laws and regulations. The Indian Penal Code has twenty three chapters and five hundred and eleven sections dealing with a range of issues from criminal conspiracy, abetment, religion, public servants, crimes against the human body such as murder, kidnapping etc, to trespass, and marriage, intimidation and so on.

  13. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 comes under the chapter XVI. The chapter lays down for offences affecting the human body. The section lays down what will be considered as unnatural offence and prescribes punishment for the same.
    It provides that if any one voluntarily has carnal intercourse:
    1.against the order of nature
    2.with any man, woman or animal.
    Then he/she will be punished with imprisonment for life or for 10years and shall also be liable to fine. It is a non-bailable offence.
    The Explanation to the section lays down that penetration will be enough to consider it as an carnal intercourse under this section.
    It is to be noted that from the past twenty years there have been no conviction under this section.

  14. 1. The Indian Judicial system provides for the Supreme Court/ High Court to review any decision or judgment that it makes. The parties involved if aggrieved against the judgment of the court or any error therein may seek relief through filing of a review petition. The concept of review petition goes against the concept of stare decisis i.e. a binding precedent, and taking this into consideration, the court normally does not unsettle a judgment unless presented with a strong case against it. Article 137 of the Indian Constitution provides that subject to the law and rules laid down in Article 145 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court may review its previous decisions. A review petition however must be filed before 30 days of the judgment or decision.
    If however the court's final decision is unacceptable to the aggrieved parties and the court has also dismissed the review petition, the court provides for curative petitions.
    The concept of curative petitions in India first evolved in the Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra case of 2002, wherein the court questioned as whether an aggrieved party was entitled to any relief after the Court's final judgment or dismissal of the review petition. In order to avoid abuse of its process or any gross miscarriage of justice, the court provided for the concept of curative petition. In order for a curative petition to be entertained the following requirements must be fulfilled :
    a) The petitioner must establish that there has been a genuine violation of the principle of natural justice and fear of the bias of the judgment or judge.
    b) The petitioner must aver that the grounds mentioned in the petition were taken by the review petition but dismissed during circulation.
    c) Such an assertion must be certified by a senior advocate and the petition must be circulated amongst the three senior most judges of the Supreme Court and also the judges who delivered the impugned verdict if they are available.
    d) The above mentioned bench after ascertaining the need for further hearing of the case may transfer the case for hearing to the original bench as far as this may be possible.
    d) In case the court finds that the petition lacks merit it may charge the petitioner with exemplary costs.
    Unlike a review petition , there is no time limit for filing a curative petition.

  15. The current case is being referred to the larger bench because in the opinion of the Chief Justice of India the petition involves substantial question of law for which the constitution has to be interpreted. Since it is a matter relating to the Substantial interpretation of the Constitution, the matter has been refereed to the constitution bench. The provisions regarding the same is provided under Article 145 of the Constitution of India.
    Kesvananda Bharti case.
    SR Bommai case.

  16. Countries where Homosexuality is legal.
    5.South Africa
    There are various other countries as well.

    Egypt, Libya, Algeria,Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan,Guinea,Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya,Iran,Syria,UAE,Afghanistan,Bhutan,Sri lanka,Bangladesh,Pakistan.

  17. Favor
    Right to life should include right to sexual life as well.
    Right to equality.
    Right to live a dignified life including liberty.
    There is difference between being a homosexual and propagating homosexuality
    Studies show that Homosexuality is inborn. and since there is no choice how can we impose crimanal charge when there is no intention.
    Considered unnatural in most of the countries as it goes against order of nature as the married gay couple cannot reproduce.
    Claimed to be Banned by many religious scriptures.
    It will confuse gender rules.
    Against the majority of society.
    Aids is more common among homosexuals.

  18. 2. Section 377 was enacted in 1860 by the British Government , that criminalized sexual activities that were "against the order of nature", and which was taken to include sexual activity between homosexuals as well. In 2009, the Delhi High Court declared the section as unconstitutional with respect to consensual sexual intercourse between consenting adults of the same sex. However, the same provision was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013, which held that the amendment or repeal of Section 377 was a matter that would be better dealt with by Parliament and not the judiciary, effectively re-criminalizing sexual acts between same sex individuals.

  19. The judiciary is well within its limits to protect the rights of LGBT community. Under Article 142 of the Constitution of India it is provided that the Supreme Court could pass any orders to do complete justice. So the judiciary is well within its ambit to protect their rights.
    We need to consider that the Parliament meets only for a certain period of time and with the continuing impasse in the Parliament the Supreme court is well within its constitutional mandate to protect their rights.
    Before there have been various instances where The supreme Court of India has filled the legislative gaps.
    1.The case of Aruna Shanbough. Since there was no laws on Euthanasia In India, while hearing a petition the Supreme Court legalized Passive Euthanasia.
    2.the Case Of shah bano.When a muslim women Claimed maintenance under Crpc. The supreme court held Crpc will be applicable to muslim women in the cases of maintenance.

  20. 5. The status of acceptance of homosexuality is varied among different countries and the these differences are quite stark to be sure .
    Countries such as the United States of America, U.K., Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have all enacted laws recognizing the legality of same-sex marriages. Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Australia, Germany, France have all recognized civil union, registered partnership or registered cohabitation between same-sex partners as a legal status. Mexico provides legal recognition to same-sex marriages, but these marriages are not performed. African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Mali, Niger, Latin American countries such as Paraguay , Bolivia and Peru and most importantly China, and the Eastern European nations, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, etc.. same sex unions are not recognized but are not criminalized either. Russia offers restricted freedom of expression. In Botswana , Namibia, Algeria and Oman there are unenforced penalties. In India, Egpyt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh categorize same-sex unions as punishable offences. Burma and Pakistan enforce life imprisonment on homosexuality and related sexual acts, whereas, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Kuwait, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan all impose death penalty for cases related to homosexuality and alternate genders and related aspects.

  21. 6 and 7. Homosexuality and sexual acts between persons of the same sex were criminalized by the British Colonial government, and institutionalized through the Indian Penal Code which has been the point of reference for the Indian society ever since. LGBT rights activists argue as to the liberal, broad nature of Indian society prior to the advent of the British and the acceptance of the existence and equal rights of a third gender and same-sex relations. These activists allude to the tolerant and liberal traditions of the Indian society and culture prior to its subsuming by the British colonial authorities and the imposition of puritanical ideologies. Other activists of LGBT rights point to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution and emphasise its equal applicability to all members of society, whatever be their sexual orientation. These activists argue that members of the LGBT community have a right to life, liberty and expression much the same as any other citizen and that curtailment of their fundamental rights, would not only be a violation of human rights but also a major failure of the state to protect the interests of its most vulnerable groups of citizens. While the 2009 Delhi High Court Verdict had provided succor to many of the members, thus enabling them to lead a life free of much of the erstwhile fear and suffering, the Supreme Court Verdict has once again forced the community to live in fear of authority excesses and societal discrimination. These individuals have an equal right to a free, dignified life and the judiciary and the legislature must take any and all opportunities to provide a conducive environment for their free expression and liberty. No liberal, free society shuns its members into living a life of fear and shame. India as a tolerant society that has long fostered a spirit of inclusiveness and freedom must necessarily protect its most vulnerable citizens. While lesbians and gays live in perpetual fear of societal disapproval and disgrace the transgender community is the most vulnerable being forced into prostitution and trafficking for sheer lack of other avenues of livelihood and dignity. Be that as it may, the emotional and psychological trauma imposed on any individual by denying him/her the basic right to express their personality and their sexual orientation, the trauma of societal disgrace and humiliation, and social ostracism, is something that every democratic country worth its name should strive to abolish. India , its judiciary, its civil society and its legislature must constantly strive to return the dignity and freedom of this community which it has wronged, time and again.

  22. 2. Write a short note on Sec 377 of Indian Penal Code.
    Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1860, introduced during the British rule of India, criminalises sexual activities "against the order of nature", arguably including homosexual acts.
    The section was declared unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults by the High Court of Delhi on 2 July 2009. That judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court of India on 12 December 2013, with the Court holding that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary.
    On 2 February 2016, the final hearing of the curative petition submitted by the Naz Foundation and others came for hearing in the Supreme Court. The Three member bench headed by the Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur said that all the 8 curative petitions submitted will be reviewed afresh by a 5 member constitutional bench.
    377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense described in this section.
    The ambit of Section 377, extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion. Thus, even consensual heterosexual acts such as fellatio and anal penetration may be punishable under this law.

  23. 5.What are the various stands taken by different countries on homosexuality?
    Ans. Indonesia, where two large provinces outlaw homosexual acts
    Three political entities that have anti-LGBT laws but that aren’t accepted as countries by the international community

    Mozambique, on the southeastern coast of Africa, with a population of 24 million, adopted a new Penal Code in the second half of 2014 and was dropped from this list in early 2015.
    Iraq was added to the list, although it does not have a civil law against same-sex relations. But in practice Iraq defers to Sharia judges who, as ILGA notes, “continue to order executions of men and women for same-sex sexual behaviour.
    In the United States, anti-sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, but they are still on the books in 13 states: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Conservative state legislators refuse to repeal the laws and, in some cases, police still enforce them.
    In the past several years more than a dozen LGBT people were arrested for violating those laws, but the arrestees were freed because prosecutors won’t seek convictions based on defunct laws. Russia, which enacted an anti-gay propaganda law in 2013 prohibiting any positive mention of homosexuality in the presence of minors, including online
    Ukraine, which has considered, but so far has not adopted a similar law against “gay propaganda.