India’s highest court to review law criminalising gay sex

The Indian supreme court agreed to re-examine legislation that activists say is used to blackmail LGBTI.

supreme_court_India Good News

A colonial-era law outlawing sex between men will be re-examined by the supreme court and could mark a major victory for gay rights in India.

The validity of the section 377 of the Indian penal code will be referred to a larger bench for examination before October. Activists claim that this law is regularly used to blackmail and intimidate LGBTI Indians and also impacts on HIV/Aids prevention efforts.

“A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear,” the justices said. “Choice can’t be allowed to cross boundaries of law, but confines of law can’t trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under article 21 of [the] constitution.”

The visibility of LBGTI Indians has grown in India in the two decades since the first gay pride parade attracted a few dozen marchers in Kolkata in 1999.

“There has been so much criticism of the judgment, and mobilisation on the ground and acceptance levels have gone up by a lot, [despite] the conservative forces in the ruling party,” said LBGTI advocate Aditya Bondyopadhyay to The Guardian.

To read the original story, click here.

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