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State Department Spokesperson Grilled on India Ruling Criminalizing Gay Sex: VIDEO

Psaki

State Department spokesman Jen Psaki was grilled for several minutes today about the Indian Supreme Court decision recriminalizing sodomy and could not say what action the United States might take to encourage the Indian government to remedy the human rights issues raised by this ruling.

Psaki said that Secretary of State John Kerry had not spoken with the Indian government directly about the ruling as it had taken place today but said that the United States opposes any laws denying equality to LGBT citizens and is "concerned" about today's ruling.

One reporter suggested there is a problem that the U.S. is threatening sanctions on Ukraine because it is violating human rights and said that it is not clear "whether this has come up, will come up, or will ever come up" with the Indian government and the perception appears that relations are "full speed ahead"

Replied Psaki: "As you know we don't group every country, and everything that happens into the same category, and every circumstance is different."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I'm as angry about the India ruling as the next guy. But no one really saw this coming so it's a bit ridiculous to expect the State Department to have a response within hours ESPECIALLY when you're talking about a relationship with the second most populous country in the world. Push for action, but give it a chance first.

    Posted by: Kevin | Dec 11, 2013 11:42:42 PM


  2. Boycott anything India. Spend no money on any product made in India. Refuse to utilize or work with ANY company that hires or contracts with Indian citizens. Avoid traveling to India. If India thinks they have poverty now we can ensure that poverty continues and grows worse.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 11, 2013 11:49:47 PM


  3. Why is her blouse made from the curtains at my grandmother's house when I was 4?

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 12, 2013 12:59:21 AM


  4. @Mike Ryan

    That is such a terrible reaction to this decision. First, it's just two old men who decided this, yet you want to make a billion people suffer for it. Second, and more importantly, they wouldn't suffer that much, as India is one of the least export oriented of the major economies. Call centres, for example, are about 1 percent of GDP. Third, and most importantly, there probably isn't a big company in America that doesn't have an Indian employee in the world. Certainly every single food and beverage, technology, financial services, pharmaceutical company would have to be boycotted at a bare minimum. Good luck with that.

    Posted by: brian1 | Dec 12, 2013 1:31:51 AM


  5. Our State Department's response to the action of the Indian Supreme Court recriminalizing sodomy has to be tempered by the ugly reality that sodomy was a crime in the USA until recently.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 12, 2013 1:39:18 AM


  6. @brian1: in addition, nobody is talking about the reason for the ruling. You can find a summary of the decision at http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-highlights-of-the-supreme-court-verdict-on-section-377-1933492 and it appears that the court merely ruled that it was constitutional, not that it was a good law.

    They pointed out that in 150 years, only 200 individuals have been prosecuted under Section
    377 (the part being contested. The court also claimed that "The mere fact that the section is misused by police authorities and others is not a reflection of the vires of the section. It might be a relevant factor for the Legislature to consider while judging the desirability of amending Section 377 of the IPC."

    So, it appears the court merely ruled that the law was constitutional, and that it was up to the legislature to change it.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 12, 2013 2:40:30 AM


  7. The irony, of course, being that the USA itself has no shortage of laws denying equality to LGBT citizens.

    Yet another reason for us to get our house in order. LGBT inequality, here at home, hampers our credibility in addressing human rights issues abroad.

    Posted by: FFS | Dec 12, 2013 3:05:31 AM


  8. response is like the perennial UNACCEPTABLE which means NOTHING but a buzz word politicians have developed to do not a darned thing

    Posted by: Lee | Dec 12, 2013 3:32:54 AM


  9. India's shameful and disgusting and savage decision to roll back human rights clearly proves that India is not fit for purpose as a major power.

    Divestiture from India needs to be promoted.

    India is a disgrace.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 12, 2013 4:17:04 AM


  10. The Indian Ruling is Putin. Simple as that. Russia leaned on the Indian government and today he's swaggering around pointing at India and saying that he and Russia are the defenders of traditional values worldwide. It's a power grab. Putin is aligning Russia at the head of a new, global, anti-American, anti-Western alliance that will push into Asia, Africa and India.

    Posted by: Chaz | Dec 12, 2013 8:46:48 AM


  11. It's pretty simple folks:

    NO $$$ to anything from India.

    If you get Sanjay at a call center, demand to speak with a native speaking American.

    No Indian Cars and that means no Mini's or Rovers as they're now Indian owned.

    And no more Visas to Indian Tech Monkeys.

    Posted by: chasmader | Dec 12, 2013 9:01:59 AM


  12. @Brian1

    Mike is just lampooning the boycott against Russia.

    Posted by: Roger | Dec 12, 2013 9:03:29 AM


  13. all butt-f***king suspended at the taj mahal until further notice!


    Posted by: mark | Dec 12, 2013 9:05:49 AM


  14. This has absolutely nothing to do with the average Indian and everything to do with political corruption at a high level.

    Posted by: Chaz | Dec 12, 2013 9:09:25 AM


  15. Can we expect any higher level of intelligence from a country that still has leprosy?

    India is an unsolvable puzzle.

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 12, 2013 9:11:39 AM


  16. @Roger

    Mike Ryan is definitely not lampooning the Russian boycott. He is the main proponent of the Russian boycott on dozens of posts here so i don't see him poking fun at it. Unless this is a pretender posting under his name, I'm sure he really means we should do this with India.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Dec 12, 2013 9:21:02 AM


  17. I refuse to drink another Slurpee.

    Posted by: crispy | Dec 12, 2013 9:21:43 AM


  18. My immediate reaction is to boycott India. Show them the power of the purse. Also, support the Indian LGBT community and get them to petition the Indian legislature to change the law. As Americans who had to fight similar anti-gay laws we can help the Indians. We Shall Overcome!

    Posted by: George Brock | Dec 12, 2013 9:41:29 AM


  19. @MARYM: Come down out of your righteous pulpit. India is "shameful, disgusting, savage, disgrace" Yea just like the USA a decade or two ago. Get some perspective!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 12, 2013 9:50:24 AM


  20. The difference between India and the US on this is that India recriminalized sodomy, leaving many people vulnerable to a law they thought they were free of.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 12, 2013 10:35:17 AM


  21. When you are U.S. Sec of State representing a nation that is occupying land taken from the Native population and in fact caused the deaths of millions of those people, you have to tip toe into that righteous pulpit. We are very much like Germany trying to tell nations how to treat their minority populations. We benefit from the fact that humans have short memories and most of our sins were committed in the last century or before.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 12, 2013 11:14:16 AM


  22. I take back every bad thing I ever said about the British Empire.

    Posted by: Queer Supremacist | Dec 12, 2013 1:38:29 PM


  23. y do dont u all just mind ur own business u cnt force every country in tha world to allow gays ok some countries r very relgiious n one more thing gays r the lowest level on social problem in india. india has been attackin/killin monorites for so long now n they come first before india cn tackle its gay issue

    Posted by: j | Dec 12, 2013 2:34:02 PM


  24. "no one really saw this coming"

    REALLY? Then why bother having a State Department? What the hell is Nancy Jo Powell doing??

    The "business first" attitude, might be the real problem that the State Department isn't interested in equal rights in India: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-12-06/news/44865523_1_united-states-and-india-asean-former-top-american-diplomat

    Posted by: Shawn Fassett | Dec 12, 2013 8:13:23 PM


  25. As a gay Indian living in NYC (and a Tech gay monkey as someone referred to above), the comments here are a bit over the top (also a bit hateful, especially considering that gays were the hated).

    - Yes, I'm angry at the verdict. It is stupid and archaic.

    - Boycotting Indian goods/produce won't work. It didn't work when the US imposed sanction 15 years ago for nuclear testing.

    - A lot of Indians are still wary of the West. (Don't blame them, they were ruled by the Brits for over 200 years and it is only 60+ years since we got independence). Luckily, though Hinduism (which is majority religion) has its share of stupid things, it isn't as bad as Christianity when it comes to homosexuality (or abortion).

    - I hope those calling for boycott of goods aren't advocating boycotting goods from US states that still prohibit gay marriage.

    - Talk to your reps & senators to lean on or nudge the Indian leaders (political or Industrial) to change the law.

    - Support Indian LGBT groups (Please be nice to each other - too much to ask?).

    Lastly, it is not the end of the world. Clearly, the judges are on the wrong side here. This too shall pass.

    Posted by: manj | Dec 12, 2013 9:57:21 PM


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