India’s Supreme Court has struck down section 377 of its Penal Code, decriminalizing homosexuality. Jubilation has erupted in India after the supreme court unanimously ruled to decriminalize homosexual sex in a landmark judgment for gay rights.
A five-judge bench at the country’s highest court ruled that a 160-year-old law banning sex “against the order of nature” amounted to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and was unconstitutional
The judgment was rendered after 24 years of legal challenges.
In Mumbai, people marched carrying a giant rainbow banner.
In Bangalore they draped themselves in the LBGT flag and let off scores of balloons.
In Delhi’s luxury Lalit hotel, run by one of the activists who fought Thursday’s case, and home to one of the city’s furtively gay-friendly nightclubs, staff danced in the lobby.
Judge Indu Malhotra, said:
“History owes an apology to members of the community for the delay in ensuring their rights.”
This is fantastic news. And so amazing that the Indian Supreme Court was unanimous in deciding to decriminalize India’s LGBT community. This is a victory, not only for India but also for the international LGBTQI community.
The entire globe of LGBTI people owe its thanks to those in India who fought so hard to ensure the Colonial era Penal Code is finally put to its death.
This brings hope for those in countries where people’s natural sexuality and gender identity continue to be criminalized.
While we hope the resulting persecution of LGBTI people in India ceases, we do understand that actual homophobia may be behind the curve and so there is still much to be done, to educate and develop the understanding and clarity that it will take to mitigate deeply entrenched myths and lies which have caused much prejudice.
Melanie Nathan, African HRC.
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