The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi

India’s Supreme Court has offered the country’s gay and lesbian community a glimmer of hope after it agreed to hear a petition to reconsider its ruling outlawing homosexuality.

The Times of India reported that on Tuesday the court said that it would hear the curative plea, lodged by LGBTI activists, in open court next week.

In December last year, the court restored the colonial-era ban on gay sex which had been overturned in 2009 by the Delhi High Court.

The ruling shocked human rights groups around the world and was met with widespread condemnation both in India and internationally.

The Naz Foundation, which lodged the petition earlier this month, argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling contained many “patent errors” and requested an open court hearing on the matter in which it could present oral arguments.

Activists have now also asked that as part of the curative petition hearing the court consider last week’s ground-breaking ruling by the same court which created a third gender for transgender Indians.

That ruling has given activists renewed hope. While it specifically did not address the gay sex ban it did affirm the need to ensure equal rights for transgender people, another minority group.

The ban on gay sex includes penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

Next week’s hearing is the final option for the court to reconsider its ruling. If it fails, the law will have to be repealed by lawmakers, an action which the court said in its December 2013 ruling was the preferred route.

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