India celebrates decriminalisation of gay sex after Supreme Court ruling - in pictures

'It is the best judgement we could have hoped for'

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 25 October 2018 15:55
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India's Supreme Court legalises gay sex

This week it was announced that the Supreme Court in India had made the landmark ruling to decriminalise gay sex following a 17-year legal battle.

Gay sex had previously been against the law and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as outlined in Section 377 of the Indian constitution.

Members and supporters of the LGBT+ community took to the streets in their droves to celebrate the historic occasion.

The rain in New Delhi did little to dampen people’s soaring spirits following the Supreme Court decision, while there were jubilant festivities taking place in other areas of the country including Kolkata and Siliguri.

Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India, spoke about the significant ruling while reading out his judgement on the case, describing the law as “irrational, arbitrary and indefensible”.

“Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - cannot be said to be unconstitutional,” he said.

The fight to decriminalise gay sex began in 2001, when the Naz Foundation charity, an organisation that focuses on sexual health, took a legal challenge to the Delhi High Court.

Anjali Gopalan, founder of the Naz Foundation, told The Independent that the decision was “wonderful news.”

“They have opened the door to discussing rights,” she said.

“They have apologised to the gay community, and they have said copies of the judgement will be handed to every police station.

“It is the best judgement we could have hoped for."

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