American Jewish World Service Condemns the Supreme Court of India’s Decision to Criminalize Homosexuality

Global Human Rights Group and Its Indian Grantees, Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action and Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha, Will Continue to Fight for Equality

NEW YORK, NY—American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading Jewish international human rights and development organization, is deeply disappointed in the decision of India’s Supreme Court to reinstate a colonial era law criminalizing homosexuality.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling in India, which has upheld section 377, a colonial law that criminalizes adult consensual sex in private, is a miscarriage of justice,” said Javid Syed, senior program officer at American Jewish World Service. “Despite the ruling, AJWS will not waver in its support of the struggle of our partners in India who have already won over the hearts and minds of so many people in support of LGBT rights. We know that the important social acceptance that activists have won over the last four years will not be erased by today’s ruling. Ultimately, we believe that human rights will triumph and the values of equality enshrined in the Indian constitution will prevail.”

Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA), an AJWS grantee and human rights organization in India, released the following statement:

“This judgment ignores the spirit of inclusiveness, which is at the heart of the Indian Constitution, as envisioned by the founders of this plural and diverse democracy. It tragically abandons the principle of constitutional morality ─ the principle that subjective moralities or majority views cannot be allowed to marginalize and exclude minority communities. In the long history of the Supreme Court’s judgments that affirm human rights, this judgment marks a low point […].Unjust as this decision is, our collective struggle and activism for all people’s basic human rights will continue, and is newly re-energized. The wheels of history are in motion, both in India and on the larger global stage, and the movement for LGBT rights and equality will move forward.”

Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM), an AJWS grantee and organization that promotes the rights of sex workers in India, released the following statement:

“We are shocked at the decision of the Supreme Court in Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation and join millions of people across the country to protest against this decision. The decision, by overturning the historic Delhi High Court judgment which de-criminalised same sex in private, is a step that will take India back a hundred years. By overturning the Naz Foundation judgment, the Supreme Court has withdrawn the constitutional protection guaranteed to every citizen of India and renders LGBT persons vulnerable to discrimination, violence and harassment.”


CREA builds feminist leadership, advances women’s human rights, and expands sexual and reproductive freedoms.

SANGRAM defends the rights of sex workers and empowers them to design and implement sustainable programs for their own health. SANGRAM combats discrimination and stigma within the wider community through community organizing, rights-based education, and peer-led HIV and AIDS programs. 

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