Man Arrested Under 1861 Sex Law

Software engineer in arranged marriage caught on film cheating with man
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2014 7:43 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2014 9:36 AM CST
Man Arrested Under 1861 Sex Law
"My husband is a homosexual performing acts against nature. Take legal action against my homosexual husband," the wife said, according to official documents.   (Shutterstock)

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—especially one in an arranged marriage in which her husband has rejected her. An Indian bride filed charges in Bangalore this month, claiming that not only was her husband cheating on her, but that he violated a colonial-era law that bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with a man, woman, or animal," the New York Times reports. The activity in question was her husband having sexual relations with another man—and she had the footage to prove it. The woman knew something was wrong right after their nuptials last November, One India reports: Her husband, a software engineer, wouldn't touch her; when she complained to his parents, they became "hostile," the Times notes. The wife suspected either impotence (he refused to see a doctor) or adultery.

The camera she set up in their home recorded him having a sexual encounter with a man—a violation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. He was arrested. Not many people have been prosecuted under this 1861 law, but conviction could mean life in jail; meanwhile, a "lighter" charge of simple adultery would only result in a max of five years in jail, India's Telegraph reports. This case has reinvigorated the debate not only about the continued stigma against homosexuality (a lower court in 2009 legalized gay sex by striking down the colonial-era law; last December the Supreme Court reinstated it), but also about arranged marriage itself. "Had [the arrested man] been comfortable enough to talk about his sexuality, he probably would not have been forced into a marriage like this," an activist tells the Times. (Read one woman's story of the complexities of her arranged marriage.)

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