India decriminalizes homosexual acts in landmark verdict

Legal News Feed

India's Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would "pave the way for a better future."

The 1861 law, a relic of Victorian England that hung on long after the end of British colonialism, was a weapon used to discriminate against India's gay community, the judges ruled in a unanimous decision.

"Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality," Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, reading the verdict. "Social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual."

As the news spread, the streets outside the courthouse erupted in cheers as opponents of the law danced and waved flags.

"We feel as equal citizens now," said activist Shashi Bhushan. "What happens in our bedroom is left to us."

In its ruling, the court said sexual orientation was a "biological phenomenon" and that discrimination on that basis violated fundamental rights.

"We cannot change history but can pave a way for a better future," said Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

The law known as Section 377 held that intercourse between members of the same sex was against the order of nature. The five petitioners who challenged the law said it was discriminatory and led to gays living in fear of harassment and persecution.

Jessica Stern, the executive director of the New York-based rights group OutRight Action International, said the original law had reverberated far beyond India, including in countries where gay people still struggle for acceptance.

"The sodomy law that became the model everywhere, from Uganda to Singapore to the U.K. itself, premiered in India, becoming the confusing and dehumanizing standard replicated around the world," she said in a statement, saying "today's historic outcome will reverberate across India and the world."

The court's ruling struck down the law's sections on consensual gay sex, but let stand segments that deal with such issues as bestiality.

Related listings

  •  Austrian court's approval for spy agency raid was illegal

    Austrian court's approval for spy agency raid was illegal

    Legal News Feed 08/27/2018

    Judges in Austria say a lower court's authorization for police to raid the offices of the country's domestic intelligence agency was illegal.The regional court in Vienna said Tuesday that the search of the BVT spy agency on Feb. 28 wasn't justified b...

  • Chief justice re-elected to Supreme Court of Virginia

    Chief justice re-elected to Supreme Court of Virginia

    Legal News Feed 08/26/2018

    The current chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia has been elected to a second term in that role.The court said in a news release Tuesday that the justices re-elected Donald W. Lemons as chief justice. His second term will begin Jan. 1, 2019...

  • Nevada high court gets flurry of filings in execution case

    Nevada high court gets flurry of filings in execution case

    Legal News Feed 08/11/2018

    Two drugmakers asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday to let a state court judge hear arguments before justices take up an appeal about whether the state can use their products for an execution.The companies "and the citizens of Nevada have a subst...

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.

Business News

St Peters, MO Professional License Attorney Attorney John Lynch has been the go-to choice for many professionals facing administrative sanction. >> read
Houston, Texas Personal Injury Lawyers Our attorneys have over 35 years of experience representing individuals who have been injured. >> read