In India, Section 377 of the colonial penal code described homosexual acts as “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. Additionally, the penal code decreed that homosexual acts were punishable by a ten year prison sentence. Recently, the Delhi High Court overturned this 148-year-old law, thereby decriminalizing homosexuality.
When learning about inequality in sociology courses, many undergraduate students challenge whether inequality exists. Some argue that once a country’s legal system promotes equality, inequality becomes eradicated. The decriminalization of homosexuality may stimulate a thought-provoking discussion about inequality.
Certainly, the decriminalization of homosexuality promotes equality. This landmark decision may allow individuals to identify as homosexual without facing criminal punishment. Furthermore, some argue that this decision may allow HIV positive individuals to seek medical treatment without fearing persecution.
But, does the promotion of equality indicate the eradication of inequality? Not necessarily. Although the Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexual acts, the Indian government may not uphold the court’s ruling. Additionally, its citizens – especially the religious community – may purposefully disregard the ruling, classifying homosexuality as morally indignity.