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Gay sex is no longer a criminal offence in India, country's Supreme Court has ruled

India's Supreme Court has ruled Thursday that gay sex is no longer a criminal offense.

The court has now ruled discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a fundamental violation of rights. The court said other aspects of section 377 dealing with unnatural sex with animals and children would remain in force. There remains strong opposition among religious groups and in conservative rural communities. This decision represents a huge victory for India's LGBT community. In the largely conservative India leaders of all religions have consistently opposed gay sex. Gay sex had been punishable by up to 10 years in jail in socially conservative India until now. However, over the past decade, gay people have gained a degree of acceptance in parts of deeply conservative India, especially in big cities.

happy-gay-people-in-India
Happy gay people in the street in India

Thursday's ruling was delivered by a five-judge bench headed by India's outgoing chief justice Dipak Misra and was unanimous. Justice DY Chandrachud said the state had no right to control the private lives of LGBT community members and that the denial of the right to sexual orientation was the same as denying the right to privacy. Messages of support were posted on Twitter, including from film director Karan Johar. He wrote: „Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!” Ai this time, homosexuality could still result in the death penalty in eight nations in the world.

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