India’s top court decriminalizes gay sex in landmark ruling

By Manveena Suri

India’s Supreme Court has struck down a colonial-era law criminalizing consensual gay sex, overturning more than 150 years of anti-LGBT legislation.

The court announced the landmark verdict in Delhi on Thursday, as jubilant crowds cheered and rights activists hugged one another, overcome with emotion.

Section 377, an archaic law imposed during British rule that penalized intercourse “against the order of nature,” had carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The decision to repeal the law is a major victory for India’s LGBT activists and supporters after years of determined struggle.

“I can’t even explain how I am feeling right now. The long battle has been won. Finally we have been recognized by this country,” said Bismaya Kumar Raula, wiping away tears outside the court.

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