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Leading Indians Launch Campaign Against Anti-Gay Law

  • VOA News

More than 100 influential Indian writers, lawyers and academics have launched a campaign against a colonial-era law that makes homosexuality a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The group is led by novelist Vikram Seth, who is gay. They sent an open letter to the government, urging it to immediately scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which dates back to 1861.

The letter says the law has led to public intolerance and abuse of millions of homosexuals in the country.

Last year, the Delhi High Court rejected a petition filed by Delhi-based Naz Foundation working on HIV/AIDS prevention, demanding that the archaic law be scrapped. But the Supreme Court ordered the Delhi High Court to re-examine its decision.
A hearing is scheduled for next month.
Other signatories to the letter include fellow authors Arundhati Roy and Jhumpa Lahiri, as well as actors and filmmakers, human rights lawyers and journalists.

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