New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday gave a landmark judgement and vindicated the Section 377, albeit partially thus ending the 158-year-old colonial law that criminalised gay sex in India. A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra upheld the historic judgement.

CJI Misra said, “LGBT community possesses rights like others. Majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights.”

After SC’s historic verdict, India entered the list of countries where homosexuality is legal. Here is the list of countries where homosexuality isn’t a crime. United States, Australia, New Zealand, France, Brazil, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Mexico, Iceland, Portugal, Ireland, Argentina, Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland, Germany, Colombia, Malta, Uruguay and Greenland are the other countries where ‘homosexuality is not criminalised’.

However, countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Qatar and Pakistan among others continue to criminalise homosexuality.

CJI Misra said, “The Court must try to protect the dignity of every individual of the society including people from the LGBT community. The sexual orientation is natural and people have no control on it.” He said denial of self-expression was akin to inviting death. He added that societal morality cannot trump constitutional morality.