Our mailbox has been overflowing this week with moving statements supporting International Human Rights Day, December 10. The poignancy of the date coinciding with the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, one of the 20th century’s most inspiring fighters for human rights and against racism, was inescapable. The Peoples’ Health Movement has also circulated a statement cosigned by 324 organizations in honor of International Human Rights Day.
So it is with great sadness and anger that we receive notice from the Indian human rights organization CREA that the Indian Supreme Court has overturned the Delhi High Court judgment of 2009 which decriminalized homosexuality in India. The court has upheld and reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial era law, which classifies millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual people in India as criminals.
The right for adults to love who they want, the right to marry, and the right to live free from violence based on gender — these are fundamental human rights which affect our mental and physical health. We consider them to be part and parcel of the Right to Health and we extend our solidarity to those in India, the US, and around the world who are struggling to make those rights a reality.