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Americans hail SC verdict legalising gay sex

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Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Americans across the board Thursday welcomed the overturning of a colonial-era law in India that criminalised gay sex, saying it was a victory for the LGBTQ rights and equality around the world.

The Supreme Court Thursday decriminalised part of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises consensual gay sex, saying it was irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Misra unanimously held that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community possess the same constitutional rights as other citizens of the country.

The influential LGBT Caucus in the US House of Representative said it was a piece of "good news".

"Good News! India's Supreme Court struck down an archaic colonial-era law criminalising consensual same-sex relationships. Today's historic ruling by the Supreme Court ends more than 150 years of discrimination against LGBT people in India," House LGBTQ Caucus said.

"History in India and a victory for LGBTQ rights and equality around the world. Love is love," Senator Dick Durbin tweeted.

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US president Bill Clinton, described it a landmark verdict.

"India decriminalizes homosexual acts in landmark verdict!!!!!!!!!!" she said in a tweet.

"This decision by India's Supreme Court is an important step forward in ending discrimination against LGBT individuals," said Congressman Frank Pallone.

"As a founder of the Congressional India Caucus, I'm proud of the progress India has made toward protecting the rights of all individuals," he said.

The bench termed sexual orientation as a "biological phenomenon" and "natural" and held that any discrimination on this ground was violative of the fundamental rights.

"Pleased to learn of India's Supreme Court decision over

urning section 377, the draconian law that criminalised homosexuality. Love is love," tweeted Congressman Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Today, India's Supreme Court finally struck down a law criminalizing homosexuality. LGBT rights are human rights, Congressman Brad Sherman said.

As Ranking Member of the Asia Subcommittee he followed the case with interest.

"More countries should follow India's lead," he said.

"I'm proud India took this critical step toward recognising that love is love. There's still more work to do to ensure full equality for all of India's LGBT community, but today, I'm celebrating with you on this historic victory," Congressman Joe Crowley tweeted.

Leela Fernandes, professor of women's studies and political science at the University of Michigan, said the Supreme Court ruling marked a significant victory for LGBQT rights.

"This, along with earlier Court rulings on transgender rights, is important legal milestones on sexuality and equality," she said.

"The next challenges will be ensuring that formal legal rights are translated into substantive equality in everyday life in contemporary India," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, September 07 2018. 00:35 IST
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