In a long anticipated and major ruling the high court in India has determined that consensual homosexual sex should no longer be against the law. The ruling overturns the previous law known as section 377 which banned gay sex. This historic ruling marks a new chapter in gay rights in the country that is home to over 17% of the world's population.
“Discrimination is antithesis of equality,” the judges of the Delhi High Court wrote in a 105-page decision that is the first in India to directly guarantee rights for gay people. “It is the recognition of equality which will foster dignity of every individual,” the decision said.This ruling brings the total number of countries that criminalize homosexuality down to 84. The punishment for homosexuality varies in countries from prison time, fines, public humiliation, and in many cases the death penalty.
The ruling applies only to India’s capital city, but it will force the national government to either appeal the decision to the Supreme Courtor repeal the law nationwide, lawyers said (NY Times).