India to review gay laws

India is set to review its long-standing laws barring gay sex, in a move that could decriminalise homosexuality in the largely conservative country, a report said on Sunday.

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Consensual sex between same-sex adults is currently punishable by a fine and a 10-year prison term under the Indian Penal Code, and most politicians have so far resisted amending the statute which dates back to British rule.

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Now three key ministers have agreed to meet shortly to discuss a possible revamp of the country’s homosexuality laws.

‘The issue was being discussed in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Health Ministry and it will come before the Law Ministry also,’ Law Minister Veerappa Moily was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.

Critics say the laws are outdated and have been an obstacle to controlling the spread of HIV/Aids, which affects an estimated 2.5 million people in India, the Straits Times reports.

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