India’s Supreme Court agrees to review colonial-era law criminalising gay sex

India’s Supreme Court has agreed to review Section 377 of the Indian penal code

The country could be on its way toward a major breakthrough in LGBT rights after its Supreme Court agreed to review Section 377 – which has been interpreted as a law against gay sex.

A hangover from India’s British colonial rule, Section 377 bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” and is punishable by life imprisonment.

According to the Guardian, around 1,347 cases were registered in 2015. Though most were in regards to alleged sexual offences against children, LGBT rights advocates have claimed the legislation has been used to blackmail and intimidate LGBT people living in India.

In the same report, activist Harish Iyer said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the court would scrap the 150-year-old law. Aditya Bondyopadhyay, another advocate for LGBT rights, said the court had already signalled an intention to hear challenges to section 377, “but at least now we know when it is going to happen, we have a date”.

Since the news broke, people have turned to social media to share their thoughts:

Read more about the news by following the hashtag #Section377 here.

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