Will India's Supreme Court Decriminalize Gay Sex?

In India, the fate of millions hang in the balance.

Their Supreme Court is currently deciding whether it will scrap one of the world's oldest laws that criminalizes gay sex.

Many say Section 377 has stripped millions of gay people of their dignity and privacy and has also created a hostile environment where gay and transgender people fear reporting things like sexual harassment or assault -- because they fear they too will be arrested, even if they are the victims.

But it's important to note that same-sex relations weren't always this taboo in India. For much of its pre- colonial history, the country remained rather relaxed when it came to depictions of same-sex love and gender identity. But that acceptance eventually eroded due to British colonialism. 

Section 377 can be traced back to other British laws that policed morality. It began with the Buggery Act of 1533 in the United Kingdom.

That law was enacted under King Henry the 8th and outlawed things like anal sex and bestiality, and essentially outlawed sexual relations between men as a whole.  If someone was found guilty under this law, it would be punishable by death.

In this episode of NowThis World Judah Robinson will explore the history of this outdated law and what it's meant for the LGBTQ community India.

Other countries like the United States, Nepal, Canada, and more, have all overturned similar laws that criminalize homosexuality.

Could it be India's turn to take this step?

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