India throws out ban on gay sex, but challenges remain

India throws out ban on gay sex, but challenges remain

India's top court has handed down a landmark victory for gay rights in the world's largest democracy.

It also said that "consensual carnal intercourse among adults, be it homosexual or heterosexual, in private space, does not in any way harm the public decency or morality.

I am astounded at people who say that we can not get these rights", said Sunil Mehra, a petitioner in the section 377 case told the Hindustan Times. That the law must not discriminate is one aspect of equality.

There were cheers, tears and hugs as a wave of joy swept through the LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender) community in the country on hearing that Section 377 had been scrapped. The five petitioners who challenged the law said it was discriminatory and led to gays living in fear of harassment and persecution.

"History owes the LGBT community an apology for their sufferings", said Justice Indu Malhotra, who was also part of the bench. The netizens too took to several social media to express their happiness over the Supreme Court's decision to legalise gay sex.

"Such a view is constitutionally impermissible", stated CJI Misra, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar.

Reading down Section 377 IPC, the Constitution Bench said its provision will however continue to govern sexual acts against minors besides acts of bestiality.

The judgement came on a batch of writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur as well as 20 former and current students of the IITs.

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These petitioners had sought decriminalisation of consensual gay sex between adults by declaring Section 377 as unconstitutional.

"Courts do not give advance rulings on issues that are not before it".

In his separate ruling on Thursday, Justice Chandrachud opened the doors and windows for securing equal rights for members of the LGBT community.

He also said that homosexuality can not be regarded as a mental disorder and gays have the right to live with dignity.

"Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights!"

The Supreme Court verdict is being cheered by millions across the country, far beyond the gay community, which has fought for decades for the right to be treated equally.

Sparks says the court ruling will not impact how India Partners presents the gospel in India and will focus on teaching God's commands knowing it impacts the church and the community because Christians can be a model for the community. Describing Section 377 as a "terrible colonial legacy", they said it violated Articles 14 (equality), 15 (discrimination), 19 (freedom) and 21 (life and liberty) of the Constitution and has a "chilling effect" on the sexual minority.

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