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India celebrates end of gay sex ban

India celebrates end of gay sex ban

LGBTI Indians and allies celebrate the end of Section 377 in Bengaluru. (Photo: Anna Isaac via Twitter)

India’s LGBTI community on Thursday (5 September) celebrated a Supreme Court decision to scrap a colonial-era law banning gay sex.

Five Supreme Court judges ruled Section 377 of the Penal Code was unconstitutional. They also said it violated the right to privacy.

India has a population of 1.3 billion and and estimated LGBTI population of 78 million. This was, therefore, the biggest decriminalization verdict in history.

‘We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights,’ said Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra in his judgment.

Joy across the subcontinent

‘I’m beyond happy to hear this judgement’, said Aruna Desai of the Sweekar rainbow parents group. ‘LGBTQIA individuals are no longer criminals before law’.

Akhilesh Godi, a data scientist and petitioner of the case, also said he was ‘extremely elated’. ‘This is a big win for human rights jurisprudence in India‘ he told Gay Star News from Bengaluru.

‘This is EPIC!! I am so thankful to the Supreme Court for his historic judgement’ said filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan added. ‘So thankful to all the allies who have stood with us over the years lending us support and giving a voice to our struggle’.

India’s gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil said the decision was ‘a moment of celebration and freedom for LGBTI in India’. ‘We had our freedom taken away in 1861, but with today’s ruling our human rights will be restored,’ he told Gay Star News.

It meant ‘truth always prevails and truth always wins,’ he said.

Similarly, Bollywood star and television personality Karan Johar said ‘the country gets its oxygen back’.

 

Dancing in the streets

This was the scene in commercial hub, Mumbai, as news of the court’s decision broke:

In the southern city of Bengaluru, LGBTI Indians took to the streets to celebrate:

Delhi’s Lalit hotel also put on a dance show to mark Thursday’s win. The hotel’s executive director, Keshav Suri, is a well-known LGBTI advocate.

In a different move, LGBTI community members in the eastern city of Chennai celebrated the news by giving out chocolates:

Bollywood boasts

Some of India’s biggest stars took to Twitter to celebrate Thursday’s win:

 

 

 

See also

BREAKING: India rules to end gay sex ban

After India decriminalizes gay sex, which country might be next?