LGBTQ activists are celebrating across India tonight after a landmark ruling from India's Supreme Court. The court overturned a law criminalizing gay sex that had been on the books since British colonial times. From the capital New Delhi, NPR's Lauren Frayer reports.
LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Moments after the judges announced their unanimous ruling under India's Supreme Court's ivory dome, cheers erupted outside.
FRAYER: There were dozens of plaintiffs in this case from Bollywood film stars to business leaders to a health worker jailed for handing out condoms to gay men. Such prosecutions have been rare, though. The law had been used more often as a tool by police to harass and blackmail homosexuals. Human rights activist and plaintiff Anjali Gopalan is surprised that the court went as far as to order civil servants to fight such harassment going forward.
ANJALI GOPALAN: Not only has it decriminalized homosexuality, it is also about ensuring that this information goes to every police station, which means it's going to affect everybody across the country. The courts apologized. They apologized for the way that the community was being treated, which is unbelievable (laughter).
FRAYER: Gay, lesbian and bisexual people rushed to the Indian capital today. They posted selfies with rainbow flags on social media from train stations and airports en route.
AYUSH THAKKER: And I want to dress as a gay. I just don't want to be, like — pretend, like, to be a straight guy and, you know, living two secret life. I want to be free. I want to be out. I want to be myself.
FRAYER: That's Ayush Thakker, who was among those celebrating in front of the Supreme Court. He was with his American boyfriend, James Williams, who's originally from Alabama. Williams says the removal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which banned carnal intercourse against the order of nature, could empower thousands, maybe millions of young Indians coming out to their families.
JAMES WILLIAMS: Now 377 gets struck down. The power dynamic shifts. The conversation changes. Now the argument becomes the government evolved. The government used to think the way you did, and they changed their minds. Now they see me as a full, normal human being, and hopefully you can, too.
FRAYER: Not all Indians agree with that, though. India is deeply religious and conservative. Very few polls have been published on homosexuality here, but those that have show a dramatic change in the past 30 years towards more acceptance. Still, it's not clear a majority of Indians would rule the way the Supreme Court has. Swami Agnivesh is a Hindu priest and social worker whose orange turban and age — 78 — stood out in the mostly millennial crowd gathered outside the Supreme Court today. He was born when the British were still in charge here, and he has watched his country change profoundly in the years since. Awareness of gay rights is new for many people in India, he says.
SWAMI AGNIVESH: (Through interpreter) It's been quick and drastic how the world has changed its thinking. Our society has changed, too. Personally, I don't think we should glorify homosexuality, but I respect people's privacy and the court's decision.
FRAYER: Even one of the staunchest right-wing Hindu groups, the RSS, today issued a statement saying it no longer believes homosexuality is a crime. But it said same sex-marriage — that would be unnatural. Lauren Frayer, NPR News, New Delhi.
印度最高法院做出一项具里程碑意义的裁决之后，印度各地的性少数群体活动人士在今晚举行了庆祝活动 。印度最高法院推翻了一项认定同性性行为属犯罪行为的法律，该法律自英国殖民时期就开始实行 。NPR新闻的劳伦·弗莱尔将从印度首都新德里带来详细报道 。
弗莱尔：这起案件中有数十名起诉人因向男同性恋者发放避孕套而被监禁，这些人包括宝莱坞电影明星、商人领袖和卫生工作者 。不过这类起诉非常罕见 。案件中涉及的法律经常被警察当作攻击和敲诈同性恋者的工具 。人权活动人士兼起诉人安杰利·戈帕兰对法院甚至要求官员打击这种骚扰行为感到惊讶 。
安杰利·戈帕兰：法院不仅裁定同性性行为不再是犯罪，而且还确保这一裁定通知到所有警察局，这意味着这将影响印度全国各地的所有人 。法院做出了道歉 。他们为这一群体被对待的方式致歉，这真是难以置信（笑） 。
弗莱尔：今天，男同性恋者、女同性恋者以及双性恋者纷纷赶往印度首都 。他们在火车站和机场沿途和彩虹旗自拍，并将照片发到社交媒体上 。
阿尤希·查克：我想像同性恋一样打扮 。我不想假装自已是直男，不想过两种秘密的生活 。我想获得自由 。我想出柜 。我想做自已 。
弗莱尔：这是阿尤希·查克所说，他参加了在印度最高法院门前举行的庆祝活动 。他和他的美国男友詹姆斯·威廉姆斯在一起，威廉姆斯来自阿拉巴马州 。威廉姆斯说，印度刑法第377条禁止违背自然规律的性行为，推翻这一规定可以赋予数千名甚至是数百万名印度年轻人力量，使他们有勇气向家人公开自已的同性恋身份 。
詹姆斯·威廉姆斯：现在，第377条法律被推翻了 。权力力度转移了 。话题也发生了改变 。现在，政府的演变成为了焦点 。政府以前和你们的想法一样，现在他们改变了想法 。他们现在认为我是完全正常的人，希望你们也能这样想 。
弗莱尔：但是并不是所有印度人都同意这一变化 。印度是笃信宗教且极度保守的国家 。这里很少公布有关同性恋者的民调，但是为数不多的民调显示了过去30年来发生的重大变化，人们对同性恋者的接受度增加了 。不过，目前并不清楚大多数印度人是否会认同最高法院的裁定 。斯瓦米·阿格尼瓦什是印度教教士兼社会工作者，他头上的橙色头巾以及他78岁的高龄使他在人群中极为引人注目，因为今天聚集在最高法院外面的人群大多是千禧一代 。他出生时印度仍被英国统治，他目睹了印度这些年来的显著改变 。他说，对同性恋权利的认知对许多人来说很陌生 。
斯瓦米·阿格尼瓦什：（通过翻译）世界思想的变化迅速又猛烈 。我们的社会也在变化 。个人来说，我认为我们不应该美化同性性行为，但是我尊重人们的隐私和法院的裁定 。
弗莱尔：今天，就连其中一个最坚定的右翼印度教组织“国民志愿服务团”（简称RSS）都发表声明表示，其不再认为同性性行为是犯罪 。但是该组织同时表示，同性婚姻是违背自然规律的行为 。NPR新闻，劳伦·弗莱尔新德里报道 。
1. hand out 分发；散发；
One of my jobs was to hand out the prizes.
2. come out 公开同性恋身份；
I ca me out as a lesbian when I was still in my teens.
3. change one's mind （使）改变主意；（使）改变决定；
He reserved the right to change his mind.
4. stand out 引人注目；显眼；
His shiny bald head makes him stand out in a crowd.