Will India’s Supreme Court make homosexuality legal again?

A man protests in India as the country's Supreme Court reconsiders a decision that criminalized gay sex.

A man protests in India as the country's Supreme Court reconsiders a decision that criminalized gay sex. AFP

NEW DELHI (AP) — India‘s top court on Tuesday agreed to re-examine a colonial-era law that makes homosexual acts punishable by up to a decade in prison.

The Supreme Court set up a five-judge panel to reconsider its 2013 ruling that only Parliament can change the 1861 law banning gay sex.

Gay activists cheered the court decision and said they were hopeful that the verdict would ultimately go in their favor, giving them a chance to live openly.

In 2009, a New Delhi High Court declared unconstitutional Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which says intercourse between members of the same sex is against the order of nature.

But the judgment was overturned four years later when the Supreme Court decided that amending or repealing the law should be left to Parliament, not the judiciary.

However, India’s Parliament did not act in the matter, with the ruling Hindu nationalist party in no hurry to change the law.

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