Well done India!
India decriminalises consensual homosexual sex
It may not seem like much, but to me, it seems like a pretty big step in the right direction.
Dear Some US States:
This is how it starts. Please take note.
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- An Indian court on Thursday ruled that consensual sex between adults of the same gender is legal in the country, attorneys said.
Any homosexual act without the consent of either partner remains a criminal offense, however, Indira Jaisingh, counsel for the nonprofit Naz Foundation which had challenged the law, told CNN.
The ruling means the law -- Indian penal code section 377, which had criminalized consensual homosexual acts between adults -- has been partly struck down but remains in place as far as forced homosexual acts are concerned.
Government prosecutors did not immediately oppose the judgment, Jaisingh said, but they have that option.
India's Ministry of Home Affairs opposed changes to the law on grounds that decriminalizing homosexual conduct would "open the floodgates of delinquent behavior."
Human Rights Watch called the ruling "a victory for basic rights to privacy, non-discrimination and liberty."
It was not immediately clear whether the ruling would eventually lead to legalization of gay marriages in the country.
"This, I think, will be the next level of demand from the gay community," Jaisingh said.
Jaisingh said she has fought for the legalization of homosexuality for seven years on behalf of the Naz Foundation. The group says its "primary aim is to improve the sexual health and human rights of marginalized males who have sex with males, their partners and families in South Asia and elsewhere."
The court decision was issued amid plans for federal discussion of Section 377, which has sparked a religious outcry in conservative India.
Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders have warned they will oppose moves to decriminalize homosexuality.