What awaits the LGBTQ community in India after India's stand at the UN?
India is one of the 13 countries that voted against the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to denounce death penalty for indulging in same-sex relationships on September 29.
Out of a total of 49 members of the UNHRC, 27 voted in favour of the resolution to denounce death penalty in same sex relationships, and 13 voted against the resolution and 7 abstained for voting.
India was one of the 13 to voted against the resolution along with Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the United States.
The resolution condemned, "The imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations," and urged, "All States to protect the rights of persons facing the death penalty and other affected persons by complying with their international obligations, including the rights to equality and non-discrimination."
What makes India's decision debatable are the fact that The Supreme Court of India while declaring Right to Privacy a fundamental right in its observation also said that sexual preference is an individual's private matter. Even more shocking is the fact that India had recently dragged Pakistan to the International Court of Justice for not allowing consular access in the case of Indian National Kulbhushan Jadhav who was granted a death sentence by Pakistan Military court.
Paragraph 7 of A/HRC/36/L.6 pointed out the ground on which India challeged Pakistan in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, it read, "Calls upon States to comply with their obligations under article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and to inform foreign nationals of their right to contact the relevant consular post."
By such a stand, India has not only infringed upon the freedom of its citizens to indulge in same-sex relationship but also contradicted its own stand in the Jadhav case in which it blamed Pakistan of "egregious violation of the rights of consular access guaranteed by Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention".
This decision comes hardly a month after the LGBTQ community could see a ray of hope after the Top Court's verdict on Right to Privacy, and hoped for Section 377 of IPC - which criminalises same-sex relationships to be repealed, however, the present decision of India does not indicate a bright future for community.
India however has not offered any explanation for its stand on the issue.