India rules Section 377 of the Penal Code unconstitutional

Today marks an historic day for LGBTQ+ rights in India 🇮🇳




The Indian Supreme Court has ruled Section 377, which criminalised sex between men, as "unconstitutional", and "a violation of rights". 



The decision was unanimous: it rules India the first country in the Indian sub-continent to decriminalise consensual same-sex activity.


Same-sex activity will, henceforth, be permitted for adults on the premise that it is consensual and conducted in private. 


Section 377 was a colonial-era law upheld in a judgment by the Indian Supreme Court in 2013. It criminalised sex between two men, deeming it "unnatural", but was also used to discriminate against other members of the LGBTQ+ community, including transgender individuals, women, and hijra sex workers. 


LGBTQ+ individuals in India are overjoyed: many burst into tears after the announcement was made.



Gopi Shankar Madurai, Founder of Srishti Madurai LGBTQIA+ Student Volunteer Movement in India and the intersex representative from the Asian Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), stated: "The repeal of this law will open the door for the larger LGBTI community, a larger discourse to ensure fundamental rights in India.


"With this ruling, everyone in India, not just the LGBTI community, will be free from fear of prosecution by the ambiguous colonial law. Everyone will have their basic rights guaranteed once again for the first time in centuries."



The ruling, it is hoped, will begin a trend towards greater rights for LGBTQ+ individuals living in Asia.


The Asian representative of the ILGA added: "It shows that the tide is turning and history is on our side."


"The only other country in South Asia where same-sex relations are not criminalised is Nepal. Indeed, the global trend is moving towards greater equality and freedom to love."


History has been made.



Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. // //


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