In India on Thursday, a court ruled that homosexuality should no longer be a criminal offense in New Delhi, the capital.
Outside the court, gay rights advocates hailed it as a huge step forward and said it would have the practical effect of cutting down on police harassment of gay people. Homosexuality has been a crime in conservative India since the British colonial era.
Opponents of the ruling can still challenge it in the country’s Supreme Court.
Watch a video of a recent gay pride parade in New Delhi from YouTube user trulyinternet:
Bellow, read what bloggers have to say about the court’s decision.
Blogger “Vijay” is ecstatic about the decision and takes pride in India’s progress:
In all honesty, I never thought that this will happen in India before my grandchildren came, but amazed and delighted that while some of the so called developed countries are still debating and discriminating, India, a land of multiple religions, cultures, social stigma and religious conservatism has moved forward.
Indian blogger Aravind is surprised at how long this decision took, adding that there has been backlash:
I was frankly surprised that such a movement took so long to arrive home in India – it is high time that people to come to terms with reality. The response was mostly good, but it was a bit astonishing to see that several letters to [the] editor in The Hindu responded quite discouragingly.
The very first of these said removing the law would lead to dire consequences, such as leading to child abuse and a decay of morality and values, an erosion of ethics, and that it would mean giving undue freedom to minorities without responsibility and accountability.
At the heart of it all lies the myth that the whole thing is against the law of nature.
Blogger “Sanjukta” describes the reaction of religious leaders to the ruling:
The religious groups have already started reacting negatively. They say this is a sad day for civilised people.
The road ahead is still long, the next struggles would be about homosexuals couple’s property rights, adoption rights, marriage rights, domestic violence in intimate relations etc.
A blogger at “Counterlight’s Peculiars” remains somewhat skeptical, pointing out that discrimination will continue:
Life is not likely to change much for India’s LGBT population, which faces severe public hostility and persecution. Sex of all kinds is a taboo subject in India that is rarely publicly discussed.
See more Worldfocus coverage on Homosexuality Around the World.