India’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The 1861 law, a relic of Victorian England that hung on long after the end of British colonialism, was a weapon used to discriminate against India’s gay community, the judges ruled in a unanimous decision. "Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality,’’ Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, reading the verdict. "Social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual.’’
In its ruling, the court said sexual orientation was a "biological phenomenon’’ and that discrimination on that basis violated fundamental rights. The law known as Section 377 held that intercourse between members of the same sex was against the order of nature. The five petitioners who challenged the law said it was discriminatory and led to gays living in fear of harassment and persecution.
strike down：擊倒、廢除。例句：The Supreme Court struck down the juvenile death penalty.（最高法院廢除青少年死刑。）
hang on：持續。例句：The strains of music hung on for a long time.（樂曲聲久久迴盪。）
martyr：受苦、使殉難。例句：He was martyred for his faith.（他為信仰殉道。）