Section 377: LGBTQIA+ community hopeful of SC’s positive verdict

10 September, 2018, 10:32 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

The CJI also said: "Section 377 IPC subjects the LGBT community to societal pariah and dereliction and is, therefore, manifestly arbitrary, for it has become an odious weapon for the harassment of the LGBT community by subjecting them to discrimination and unequal treatment".

Section 377 - the 150-year-old law formed during the British era that prohibits gay sex in the country might face the exit door today. However, if anyone, by which we mean both a man and a woman, engages in any kind of sexual activity with an animal, the said aspect of Section 377 is constitutional and it shall remain a penal offence under Section 377 IPC. It was reinstated as a criminal offence in India in 2013, punishable up to 10 years in prison, after four years of decriminalisation.

Do you possess a right to live your sex?

Indian members of the LGBTQ community celebrate outside the Supreme Court.

Notably, the Indian Supreme Court went out of its way to say the country's constitution was not "collection of mere dead letters" and can and should evolve with the changing times. Tears flowed and people hugged each other spontaneously, when the judgment flashed across their television and mobile phone screens.

He said the denial of right to sexual orientation was akin to denial of right to privacy and the society can not dictate sexual relationship between consenting adults as it was a private affair.

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Tears flowed and people hugged each other spontaneously, when the judgement flashed across their television.

Singh has appealed the Parliament of India to consider its role in respect of today's Supreme Court judgment to find out whether the Supreme Court has acted beyond the limit and scope of its constitutional authority it has been provided by the Indian Constitution.

Many cut cakes and unfurled rainbow flags, a symbol of gay pride, to welcome the verdict. "We saw that in 377 where the government told us that we are leaving this to the wisdom of the court and this "wisdom of the court" was too enticing a principle for me not to respond so I responded in my judgment the other day", said Justice Chandrachud. The Supreme Court's 2017 ruling making right to privacy a fundamental right in India lent a lot of support to the case against Section 377. According to ruling, sexual orientation discrimination is considered a fundamental violation of rights.

Describing the verdict as landmark, Anjan Joshi, member of the Society for People, Awareness, Care and Empowerment (SPACE), said it was a start.

In 2011, the then Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a convention attended by former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and a host of other Union ministers, had said homosexuality is a "disease" and it is "unnatural". The Twitter handle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been silent on the verdict.

Welcoming the decision, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "Hope we move towards a more liberal, tolerant and inclusive society". "Over 70 countries, including many in the Commonwealth, that still have such discriminatory laws should also repeal".



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