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Gay sex now legal in India after historic Supreme Court ruling

India Supreme Court rules to legalize LGBT consensual sex.
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

In a unanimous decision, India's Supreme Court has ruled to decriminalize gay sex. 

The decision was announced in Delhi causing citizens and LGBT rights activists to celebrate in the streets. 

The law, Section 377, was put into place during British rule and made gay sex "against the order of nature," punishable with a life sentence. 

In 2009, Delhi High Court ruled that Section 377 was a violation of fundamental rights. After a petition was launched by Christians, Hindus and Muslim groups in 2013, the Supreme Court overruled that decision and banned gay sex once again.

After many years of petitioning to get the re-ban overturned, on Thursday The Supreme Court finally reconsidered and unanimously returned a verdict in favor of legalizing gay sex.  

“History owes an apology to these people persecuted by Section 377 for the social ostracism caused by the section," said Justice Indu Malhotra.

Indian chief justice, Dipak Mishra explained, “Sexual orientation is one of the many natural phenomena. Any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to violation of fundamental rights.”

But even though history has been made, affecting tens-of-millions of people, there is still a lot work to do in India.

"The next step is to start looking at issues of rights. Right now, it is just decriminalizing," said activist Anjali Gopalan told CNN.

"The right that every citizen of the country should have access to and should not be taken for granted. Like the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to inherit. Things that no one questions and that are clearly denied to a certain section of citizens."