An impromptu rally in the streets of Mumbai as gay rights activists and gays celebrate a groundbreaking ruling by the Delhi High Court that decriminalizes homosexuality
The court repealed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that treated consensual gay sex as a crime . The justices wrote gays and lesbians were "denied moral full citizenship [as] Section 377 IPC grossly violates their right to privacy." The decision continues: "The Constitution of India recognises, protects and celebrates diversity. To stigmatise or to criminalise homosexuals only on account of their sexual orientation would be against the constitutional morality."
The decision is the first of its kind in India, which is the largest democracy in the world and the world's second most populous nation. The ruling applies only in New Delhi but is expected to have national implications. The decision will undoubtedly bring some much-needed freedom for gays in this deeply conservative country.
Anjali Goplan is executive director of the Naz Foundation, a sexual health organization, which filed the petition. Goplan says they could not have asked for more. "I think it is historic," she tells the Voice of America. "I think we have finally taken baby steps into the 21st century."