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Indian Court Overturns 150-Year-Old Ban on Gay Sex

July 2, 2009

An Indian court on Thursday ruled that "gay sex between consenting adults was not a crime, ordering that the rights of citizens were violated by parts of a 150-year-old colonial-era law that made it illegal," Bloomberg reports. The law "has drawn criticism from public health activists as a barrier in the fight against HIV/AIDS" (Patnaik, 7/2).

The New York Times writes, "India has one of the world's largest populations of people with AIDS, and Section 377 was view by many advocates as a hurdle to education about safer sex." Anjali Gopalan -- the executive director and founder of the Naz Foundation, an AIDS awareness group that sued to have Section 377 changed, said -- "Clearly, we are all thrilled." 

The newspaper continues, "Thursday's decision applies only in the territory of India's capital city, but it is likely to force India's government either to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, or change the law nationwide, lawyers and advocates said" (Timmons/Kumar, 7/2).

Back to other news for July 2009


This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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