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Section 377: LGBTQ community hoping for a favourable verdict from SC, to hold night long vigils
Tonight, Indian LGBTQ communities are going to conduct vigils across the nation to express solidarity. Tomorrow, the awaited verdict on the curative petition regarding decriminalizing homosexuality is going to be announced. The gay communities are hopeful that verdict will be their favour.

However, if the curative petition does not come out in favour of the LGBTQ communities, the rallies will be held to put pressure on the Parliament to amend the Act by removing section 377 that treats homosexuality unlawful and un-natural.

The current law holds that those who 'voluntarily indulge' in 'carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal' shall be punished with imprisonment for life or for a term which may extend to 10 years with fine. The law criminalizes even the heterosexual acts such as fellatio and penile penetration.

Earlier too, gay activists had been challenging section 377 on the grounds that it grossly violates the right to privacy, dignity and health under Article 21, equal protection of law under Articles 14 and 15.

It may be recalled that the Section 377 of the penal code in 42 former British colonies criminalises anal sex between men and other homosexual acts. In India, since British Raj, section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is operative as the model for sodomy laws.

A few politicians and health experts also feel that criminalization of gay sex has pushed gays underground leading to further spread of HIV-AIDS.

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