Campaigners in India celebrate historic ruling to decriminalise gay sex

Gay rights campaigners in India are celebrating the decision to strike down a law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The country’s supreme court historically struck down a law from the colonial era that categorised gay sex as an “unnatural offence”.

In 2009 the law was declared unconstitutional but was reinstated in 2013. But the Supreme Court accepted a petition filed by five people who claimed they are living in fear of being harassed and prosecuted by police.

Celebrations – campaigners in India are celebrating the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalises gay sex (Picture: PA)

The decision has been met with celebrations by campaigners.

Amnesty India tweeted: “India celebrates this landmark judgement! Thanks to the tireless efforts of LGBTI activists and their lawyers, this human rights milestone is now a reality. We salute you.”

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Indian cricketer Anjum Chopra wrote: “A historic judgement! Massive verdict today! Congrats India! #Section377”, while Vh1 India tweeted: “Love Won Today. And we couldn’t be more proud of our Nation!”

And Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote: “Gargantuan news! India Supreme Court decriminalises homosexuality. Is it the most significant LGBT judicial ruling in history?”




Delivering the judgement, India’s chief justice Dipak Misra, said the law had become a “weapon for harassment for the LGBT community”.

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