Landmark India ruling ends gay sex ban

Share

In January this year, Supreme Court said a larger group of judges would re-consider the previous judgment (which reinforced criminalisation of homosexuality) and examine Section 377's constitutional validity.

Dona Marwein, another participant, said the Supreme Court has chosen humanity and equal rights and removed the outdated law.

Homosexuality has a tangled history in India, and some of Hinduism's most ancient texts are accepting of gay sex.

Members of the LGBT community hugged each other and cried as news of the verdict spread.

In a landmark decision for LGBTQ rights and the community in India, the country's highest court has decriminalised gay sex.

The law banned "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" - which was widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex.

The bench said the courts must protect the dignity of an individual as right to live with dignity is recognized as a fundamental right.

The judgment was delivered by a five-member bench - Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

Tropical Storm Gordon tracks toward central Gulf coast; landfall expected tonight
As much as 8 inches (20 centimetres) of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday. Hurricane warnings are posted for Alabama and MS with Tropical Storm Warnings for parts of eastern Louisiana.

USA charges North Korean programmer with WannaCry, other massive cyberattacks
In unrelated cases, the US has previously charged hackers from Iran as well as hackers in the Chinese military . Mr Park is charged with one count for conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, and wire fraud.

DeChambeau wins second straight FedEx Cup play-off event
For Mickelson, this will be his record 12th Ryder Cup team, eclipsing the record of 11 he shared with Nick Faldo. He has not played, however, on a winning team in Europe, where the USA has not triumphed since 1993.

However, then BJP President Rajnath Singh, months ahead of coming into power, was quoted in December 2013 as saying, "We will state (at an all-party meeting if it is called) that we support Section 377 because we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act and can not be supported". "If a law is unconstitutional, it is the duty of the court to strike it down".

Taking note of the Centre's submission that other issues like gay marriages, adoption and ancillary civil rights of LGBTQ community should not be dealt, the court said it was not considering all these issues. "I am proud to see modern India finally live up to the liberal values of our great ancestors in this regard".

"History owes an apology to the LGBT community and their families for the ignominy, ostracisation and discrimination against them".

The judgment came on a clutch of writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri, and business executive Ayesha Kapur as well as 20 former and current students of the IITs. "In this country we've allowed govt to interfere in private lives of ppl to discriminate against ppl on basis of sexual orientation, but SC stood up for equal treatment of citizens".

The path-breaking judgement held that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised consensual gay sex was "irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary".

Activists in Muslim-majority Bangladesh and Pakistan said they planned to push for reform of the laws that their countries also inherited from colonial Britain.

Sukhdeep Singh, a gay rights activist and editor of Gaylaxy Magazine, said the community still had a lot of distance to go "to be legally with your partner". "It is not only about decriminalising but recognising our fundamental rights".

Clauses which deal with unnatural sex with animals and children still remain in force.

Share