India Finally Decriminalises Homosexuality In A Great Win For Gay Rights

India Finally Decriminalises Homosexuality In A Great Win For Gay Rights

India’s supreme court has legalized consensual homosexual acts in a landmark ruling on September 6th, 2018, which finally puts an end to a 160-year-old law.

Judges decided that this law — Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code — discriminated against individuals based on their sexual orientation, which, as they said, was unconstitutional.

Crowds of people gathered outside the highest court of the country in New Delhi, cheering when the news was announced.

The law was imposed in India back in 1860 as one among several laws against immorality and public vice which were put in place across the British empire, according to the Guardian.

Same-sex relationships could previously be punishable with a ten-year jail term, reported Al Jazeera.

However, activists are worried that violence against the LGBTQ community may persist, regardless of the law change. According to activists, a further law can help efforts to combat homophobia.

The campaign to legalize homosexuality has taken decades. Early cases filed back in 1994 and then 2001 were sent back and forth around higher courts that were not able to come to a decision.

In 2009, Delhi’s high court found banning gay sex between consenting adults was in breach of India's constitution, and the rights to life, equality, and liberty that it contains.

However, four years later, the supreme court then overturned the decision, arguing that the law had been used less than 200 times — so infrequently that it could not be said to violate the constitution. Critics of the law still argued it was used to blackmail LGBTQ Indians and raised stigma and discrimination.

In August 2017, the supreme court finally ruled there was a fundamental right to privacy and, therefore, said the 2013 decision was wrong.

Since this July, the supreme court has been considering petitions from the LGBTQ community against Section 377.

The original group appealing the law included Sunil Mehra, a journalist; Ritu Dalmia, a celebrity chef; Ayesha Kapur, a businesswoman; Navtej Singh Johar, a dancer; and Aman Nath, a hotelier.

Homosexual acts are still illegal in the majority of India’s neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

Reference: Global Citizen

India Finally Decriminalises Homosexuality In A Great Win For Gay Rights India Finally Decriminalises Homosexuality In A Great Win For Gay Rights Reviewed by Katerina Pap on 7:51 AM Rating: 5



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