A landmark privacy ruling the Indian Supreme Court issued on Aug. 24, 2017, criticized its decision to reinstate the country's colonial-era sodomy law. (Photo by Legaleagle86; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Indian Supreme Court Issues Landmark Privacy Ruling

BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS, WASHINGTON BLADE

A landmark Indian Supreme Court ruling on Thursday will likely have implications on efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations in the South Asian country.

The BBC reported the judges ruled the fundamental right to privacy was "an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty." They also said "discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual."

The ruling comes in response to challenges to the Indian government's plan to implement a biometric identity card system. It also counters the top court's 2013 ruling that reinstated India's colonial-era sodomy law, which is known as Section 377.

The Indian Supreme Court in 2016 said it would review the Section 377 ruling. The BBC on Thursday reported the judges will consider the issue later.

The Washington Blade has reached out to Indian LGBT and intersex activists for comment on Thursday's ruling.

This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National Gay Media Association.
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