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

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.”Â

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).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.