Religious groups resist India ruling on gays

Decision decriminalizing homosexuality
India’s Supreme Court agreed July 9 to hear an appeal of a lower-court decision that decriminalized homosexuality after a yoga guru said the right to privacy does not “include the right to enjoy deviant sexual preferences and sexual behavior.”

Gay activists had cheered on July 2 when a court in New Delhi overturned a 149-year-old colonial law that described a same-sex relationship as an “unnatural offense.”

“It is a first major step, [but] there are many more battles,” said gay rights activist Anjali Gopalan, whose Naz Foundation filed the challenge against the colonial-era penal code. “We have finally entered the 21st century. The government cannot ignore this.”

Although the New Delhi court ruling applies only in the national capital region of Delhi, legal observers say it is likely to prompt the federal government to change the law nationwide.


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