India Legalizes Gay Sex

High court's decision hailed as 'India's Stonewall'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2009 3:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – An Indian court has struck down a colonial-era law that declared gay sex an "unnatural offense" and made it punishable by up to 10 years in jail, the BBC reports. The court ruled that the 150-year statute violated the rights of citizens by criminalizing consensual acts. India's gay rights campaigners hailed the decision as "India's Stonewall," but warned that gays still face widespread persecution.

Pparticipants dance as they hold a placard demanding the dropping of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that makes homosexuality illegal, during a gay parade in New Delhi, India.   (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, File)
Representatives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community unfurl a rainbow colored cloth during a "Rainbow Pride Walk" in Calcutta, India, Sunday, June 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
Representatives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community participate in the first 'Rainbow Pride Walk' in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/ Mustafa Quraishi)
Representatives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community participate in the first 'Rainbow Pride Walk' in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/ Mustafa Quraishi)
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It is India's Stonewall. We are elated. I think what now happens is that a lot of our fundamental rights and civic rights which were denied to us can now be reclaimed by us. - Gay activist and lawyer Aditya Bandopadhyay

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