India’s top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

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In this file photo taken on June 24, 2018 an Indian supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community takes part in a pride parade in Chennai.

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In a historic verdict, India’s Supreme Court ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence in the country.

The ruling overturns a 2013 judgement that upheld a colonial-era law, known as section 377, under which gay sex is categorised as an “unnatural offence”.

It is one of the world’s oldest laws criminalising gay sex, and India has been reluctant to overturn it.

However in recent years, there has been a very vocal campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in India.

“Criminalising carnal intercourse is irrational, arbitrary and manifestly unconstitutional,” Chief Justice Dipak Misra said while reading out his judgement.

Campaigners outside the court waiting for the ruling began cheering as the verdict was made public, with some even breaking into tears.

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