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  • Media Coverage
  • 6 Sep 2018, MAIL ONLINE

Emotional celebrations greet India ruling legalizing gay sex

India's Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a ban on gay sex sparking emotional and joyous celebrations among activists after a decades-long campaign against a colonial-era law used to clamp down on homosexual rights.

Members of India's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community vowed to use the historic ruling to push for greater rights including same-sex marriage in the South Asian nation of 1.25 billion people.

"The law had become a weapon for harassment for the LGBT community," said chief justice Dipak Misra as he quashed the cornerstone of Section 377, a law introduced by British rulers in 1861.

Indian LGBT activists have hailed the Supreme Court verdict as a major victory

"History owes an apology to the members of this community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries," added the ruling.

India is now one of more than 120 countries to have effectively decriminalised homosexuality. The ruling puts pressure on other South Asian nations which still take a hard line on gay rights.

Indian religious groups have fiercely opposed any liberalisation of sexual morality.

While LGBT groups shed tears and celebrated, the conservative government made no immediate comment on the ruling. The government had opposed action against Section 377 but finally said it would give in to the "wisdom" of the top court.

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