India’s supreme court has decriminalised homosexual sex acts. The decision has been welcomed by campaigners around the world as a landmark judgment for gay rights
India’s supreme court has scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex. Gay sex became a criminal offence again in India in 2013 when a law named Section 337 was reinstated.
But the nation’s supreme court voted to overturn the law today (6 September), ruling that consensual gay sex “among consenting adults in private” is not a crime.
Dipak Misra, the chief justice of India, is reported to have said: “Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults – homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians – cannot be said to be unconstitutional. We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion and ensure equal rights.”
We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion and ensure equal rights
The announcement of the decision, which was made by five judges, met with loud cheers from a crowd of LBGT Indians and their supporters, who were gathered on a lawn outside the court.
Sonam K Ahuja, a popular actor in India, wrote on Twitter: “This is the India I want to live in. Not one filled with hate, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and intolerance. THIS is the India I love.”