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Pictures | Thu Sep 6, 2018 | 11:55am EDT

India throws out ban on gay sex

An activist in the LGBT community celebrates after India's Supreme Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex and revocation of the Section 377 law, in Bengaluru, India, September 6, 2018. India's top court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex on Thursday, in a landmark judgment that sparked celebrations across India and elsewhere in South Asia, where activists hope to push for similar reform.

REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

An activist in the LGBT community celebrates after India's Supreme Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex and revocation of the Section 377 law, in Bengaluru, India, September 6, 2018. India's top court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex on...more

An activist in the LGBT community celebrates after India's Supreme Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex and revocation of the Section 377 law, in Bengaluru, India, September 6, 2018. India's top court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex on Thursday, in a landmark judgment that sparked celebrations across India and elsewhere in South Asia, where activists hope to push for similar reform. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa
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Supporters celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict at an NGO in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Gay sex is considered taboo by many in socially conservative India, as well as in neighboring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It was reinstated as a criminal offense in India in 2013, punishable up to 10 years in prison, after four years of decriminalization.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Supporters celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict at an NGO in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Gay sex is considered taboo by many in socially conservative India, as well as in neighboring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It was reinstated as a...more

Supporters celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict at an NGO in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Gay sex is considered taboo by many in socially conservative India, as well as in neighboring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It was reinstated as a criminal offense in India in 2013, punishable up to 10 years in prison, after four years of decriminalization. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
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People celebrate after the verdict inside the Supreme Court premises in New Delhi, September 6, 2018. A five-judge bench in India's Supreme Court was unanimous in overturning the ban. But the ruling could face a legal challenge from groups that say gay sex erodes traditional values. "Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - cannot be said to be unconstitutional," said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, as he read out the judgment.

REUTERS/Stringer

People celebrate after the verdict inside the Supreme Court premises in New Delhi, September 6, 2018. A five-judge bench in India's Supreme Court was unanimous in overturning the ban. But the ruling could face a legal challenge from groups that say...more

People celebrate after the verdict inside the Supreme Court premises in New Delhi, September 6, 2018. A five-judge bench in India's Supreme Court was unanimous in overturning the ban. But the ruling could face a legal challenge from groups that say gay sex erodes traditional values. "Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - cannot be said to be unconstitutional," said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, as he read out the judgment. REUTERS/Stringer
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People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Supporters of the campaign to scrap the ban milled around the court before the verdict and cheered the decision, hugging one another and waving rainbow flags. Some were overcome with emotion, while others waved banners with slogans such as "Gay and Proud" and "I am who I am." A few distributed sweets in celebration. "I'm so excited, I have no words," said Debottam Saha, one of the petitioners in the case.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Supporters of the campaign to scrap the ban milled around the court before the verdict and cheered the decision, hugging one another and waving rainbow flags. Some were...more

People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Supporters of the campaign to scrap the ban milled around the court before the verdict and cheered the decision, hugging one another and waving rainbow flags. Some were overcome with emotion, while others waved banners with slogans such as "Gay and Proud" and "I am who I am." A few distributed sweets in celebration. "I'm so excited, I have no words," said Debottam Saha, one of the petitioners in the case. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
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People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict at an NGO in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Activists hope the scrapping of the ban will uphold the right to equality but many acknowledged that discrimination would persist. "We are no longer criminals, (but) it will take time to change things on the ground - 20 to 30 years, maybe," said Saha.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict at an NGO in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Activists hope the scrapping of the ban will uphold the right to equality but many acknowledged that discrimination would persist. "We are no longer criminals,...more

People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict at an NGO in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Activists hope the scrapping of the ban will uphold the right to equality but many acknowledged that discrimination would persist. "We are no longer criminals, (but) it will take time to change things on the ground - 20 to 30 years, maybe," said Saha. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
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Badges against the Section 377 law of the Indian Penal Code are pictured on a table at the entrance of an NGO, in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Balachandran Ramiah, a second petitioner, also said there was "a long road ahead when it comes to changing societal mindsets," and stressed the importance of employers ending discrimination in workplaces. "A number of companies up until now were unable to put these down on paper," he said, referring to steps to end discrimination. "Now they can."

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Badges against the Section 377 law of the Indian Penal Code are pictured on a table at the entrance of an NGO, in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Balachandran Ramiah, a second petitioner, also said there was "a long road ahead when it comes to changing...more

Badges against the Section 377 law of the Indian Penal Code are pictured on a table at the entrance of an NGO, in Mumbai, September 6, 2018. Balachandran Ramiah, a second petitioner, also said there was "a long road ahead when it comes to changing societal mindsets," and stressed the importance of employers ending discrimination in workplaces. "A number of companies up until now were unable to put these down on paper," he said, referring to steps to end discrimination. "Now they can." REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
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People celebrate inside the Supreme Court premises in New Delhi, September 6, 2018. The law against gay sex, known as "Section 377," was introduced during British rule of South Asia more than a century-and-a-half ago. The law banned "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" - which was widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex. The battle to repeal Section 377 began in 2001, when a group called the Naz Foundation challenged it in court. That eventually led to its repeal in 2009. It was reinstated in 2013 after a legal challenge from an astrologer, Suresh Kumar Kaushal, who told Reuters on Thursday the latest verdict would erode traditional society. "Marriage is the most sacred part of our culture, many cultures actually," he said. "Sexual relations are a sacred part of this bond."

REUTERS/Stringer

People celebrate inside the Supreme Court premises in New Delhi, September 6, 2018. The law against gay sex, known as "Section 377," was introduced during British rule of South Asia more than a century-and-a-half ago. The law banned "carnal...more

People celebrate inside the Supreme Court premises in New Delhi, September 6, 2018. The law against gay sex, known as "Section 377," was introduced during British rule of South Asia more than a century-and-a-half ago. The law banned "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" - which was widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex. The battle to repeal Section 377 began in 2001, when a group called the Naz Foundation challenged it in court. That eventually led to its repeal in 2009. It was reinstated in 2013 after a legal challenge from an astrologer, Suresh Kumar Kaushal, who told Reuters on Thursday the latest verdict would erode traditional society. "Marriage is the most sacred part of our culture, many cultures actually," he said. "Sexual relations are a sacred part of this bond." REUTERS/Stringer
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Participants walk during the Queer Azaadi Pride March in Mumbai, February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Participants walk during the Queer Azaadi Pride March in Mumbai, February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Participants walk during the Queer Azaadi Pride March in Mumbai, February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
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Participants dance during a pride parade in Chennai, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar

Participants dance during a pride parade in Chennai, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar

Participants dance during a pride parade in Chennai, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar
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A participant stands behind a rainbow flag during a pride parade in Chennai, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar

A participant stands behind a rainbow flag during a pride parade in Chennai, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar

A participant stands behind a rainbow flag during a pride parade in Chennai, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar
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Participants dance during Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk in Kolkata, December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Participants dance during Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk in Kolkata, December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Participants dance during Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk in Kolkata, December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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People sing and dance as they take part in the 10th Namma Pride March in Bengaluru, November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

People sing and dance as they take part in the 10th Namma Pride March in Bengaluru, November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

People sing and dance as they take part in the 10th Namma Pride March in Bengaluru, November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa
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People take pictures of the gay pride parade in Mumbai, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

People take pictures of the gay pride parade in Mumbai, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

People take pictures of the gay pride parade in Mumbai, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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People belonging to the transgender community take a picture with a mobile phone before the start of a rally for transgender rights in Mumbai, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

People belonging to the transgender community take a picture with a mobile phone before the start of a rally for transgender rights in Mumbai, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

People belonging to the transgender community take a picture with a mobile phone before the start of a rally for transgender rights in Mumbai, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
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An aspiring model poses for a photo shoot during auditions for a transgender modelling agency set to open in New Delhi, February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

An aspiring model poses for a photo shoot during auditions for a transgender modelling agency set to open in New Delhi, February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

An aspiring model poses for a photo shoot during auditions for a transgender modelling agency set to open in New Delhi, February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
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Participants attend a pride parade in Mumbai, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Participants attend a pride parade in Mumbai, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Participants attend a pride parade in Mumbai, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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Gay rights activists hold on to each other as they watch a news TV channel after the Supreme Court said it would review a decision over whether to uphold the law criminalizing gay sex, in Mumbai, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Gay rights activists hold on to each other as they watch a news TV channel after the Supreme Court said it would review a decision over whether to uphold the law criminalizing gay sex, in Mumbai, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Gay rights activists hold on to each other as they watch a news TV channel after the Supreme Court said it would review a decision over whether to uphold the law criminalizing gay sex, in Mumbai, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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Gay rights activists cover themselves with a rainbow flag as they celebrate the Supreme Court's decision on gay sex in Mumbai, India, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Gay rights activists cover themselves with a rainbow flag as they celebrate the Supreme Court's decision on gay sex in Mumbai, India, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Gay rights activists cover themselves with a rainbow flag as they celebrate the Supreme Court's decision on gay sex in Mumbai, India, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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Gay activists dressed as newlywed grooms attend a pride parade in Mumbai, January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Gay activists dressed as newlywed grooms attend a pride parade in Mumbai, January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Gay activists dressed as newlywed grooms attend a pride parade in Mumbai, January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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Participants hold a rainbow flag during a pride parade in Mumbai, January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Participants hold a rainbow flag during a pride parade in Mumbai, January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Participants hold a rainbow flag during a pride parade in Mumbai, January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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