India Legalizes Gay Sex In Capital City

A participant reacts to a photographer as she and others carry a flag with rainbow colors during a gay parade in New Delhi, India, June 28, 2009.
AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
A court in India has made a groundbreaking ruling to decriminalize consensual gay sex in the capital of the deeply conservative society.

The Delhi High Court ruling, the first of its kind, applies only in New Delhi. The ruling says that treating consensual gay sex as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by the constitution.

Anjali Gopalan, head of a foundation that filed a petition prompting the ruling, says that India is finally entering the 21st century

Sex between people of the same gender has been illegal in India since British colonial times and can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The court's verdict can be challenged in India's Supreme Court.