Gay activists in India push top court to end ban on homosexuality — in part for the economy’s sake

 They are considered some of India’s brightest minds. Now students and alumni from India’s most prestigious universities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer are fighting to have homosexuality decriminalized in their country.

India’s Supreme Court is considering six petitions from gay rights groups seeking to overturn a colonial-era law that effectively bans gay sex and is widely used as a pretext for the mistreatment and exclusion of LGBTQ people. One of the petitions comes from alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), equivalent in status to the Ivy Leagues.


Their protest is different not just because of who they are — highly skilled engineers, scientists, filmmakers and others — but also because their petition to the court adds an economic layer to the usual humanitarian and social arguments for removing a law that stigmatizes minority groups. Criminalizing gay sex isn’t only unjust, they say, it also comes at a sizable financial cost to India’s developing economy.

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