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Discussion on Indian Supreme Court Ruling Criminalizing Homosexuality

  • Tuesday, February 04, 2014
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, 655 15th St NW

Join SABA-DC, the American India Foundation, KhushDC and the LGBT Bar Association of D.C. for a panel discussion on the Indian Supreme Court’s recent ruling to reinstate Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexual acts. This ruling raises not only interesting legal issues, but also issues of fundamental human rights in India. The panelists are:

Gautam Bhatia was involved in drafting arguments defending the Delhi High Court’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality as an intern in the office of Menaka Guruswamy, who appeared in the Koushal v. Naz appeal on behalf of an intervener. Gautam graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore in 2011, and is currently a LLM student at Yale Law School, focusing on constitutional law.  He previously spent two years at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar studying legal philosophy and human rights. Gautam has worked with advocates at the Delhi High Court, clerked with Justice Dalveer Bhandari at the Supreme Court of India, and writes a regular blog on the Indian constitution, aimed at both specialists and lay readers.  

Sapna Pandya has been active with efforts to organize support, including funding, for LGBTQ advocacy in South Asia in the wake of the recent Supreme Court of India's decision to recriminalize homosexuality and other homophobic legislation in the subcontinent.  Sapna is co-founder of Humsafar International, a collective of trainers on sexual health and sexual identity issues among LGBTQ South Asian communities which builds on the work of Humsafar Trust in Bombay, India. In her work, Sapna draws from her experience working with priority populations (queer communities and people living with HIV/AIDS) in India and Pakistan. She currently serves as President on the Board of KhushDC.  

John Stokes worked at the Naz Foundation, a non-profit AIDS prevention organization that brought the case, through a fellowship with the American India Foundation.  During his time at the organization, he directed Naz’s LGBT program and was involved in Naz’s ongoing efforts surrounding the public interest litigation challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that Naz had originally filed in the Delhi High Court in 2001.  John is currently a student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.


Please rsvp to if you are able to attend.


SABA-DC thanks Kirkland & Ellis LLP for hosting this event.


Our goal is to address the needs and concerns of the South Asian American legal community in Washington, D.C. while providing our members with the knowledge and support necessary to reach their personal and professional goals.

You can find us here:

South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

P.O. Box 65349
Washington, D.C. 20035

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