Thomson Reuters

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India’s government must explain its stand on consensual sexual relations between same sex adults, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, setting a July deadline for a response. The court had heard petitions demanding the abolition of Section 377 – a colonial-era law that prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” – widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex. The court’s notice to the government “is a watershed in the whole fight against Section 377,” said petitioner Ashok Row Kavi, chairperson of Humsafar Trust, a charity that works with India’s LGBT community. “The government will have to decide whether this colonial law should still stand relevant in a country that has its own constitution that protects fundamental rights of its citizens,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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