SC agrees to revisit order banning gay sex

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09 January, 2018

The petitions argued the state law violated the First Amendment's establishment clause by endorsing religious opposition to same-sex couples and the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause by "bestowing legal privileges only on those individuals who subscribe to HB 1523's state-endorsed religious and moral beliefs".

"The 5th Circuit was right to find that those opposing this law haven't been harmed and, therefore, can't try to take it down", Kevin Theriot, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement. "Morality that public perceives, constitution may not conceive of".

The law promises that the state government will not punish people who refuse to provide services to people because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage, extramarital sex or transgender people.

In 2013, a two-judge bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadaya had ruled that Section 377 of the IPC was illegal, overturning a judgment of a three-judge bench of the Delhi high court which had decriminalised gay sex. This also has implications for heterosexuals, as consensual sexual acts of adults - oral and anal sex in private - are now treated as unnatural and punishable under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari reiterated that the Congress favoured decriminalisation of gay sex.

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The cases are testing states' ability to regulate what happens when LGBT rights come into conflict with religious freedoms.

The Supreme Court today announced a review of the controversial ban on gay sex saying no one should have to live in fear due to their sexuality. Underlining the need to bring them into the mainstream, the verdict by a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said transgenders should have all rights under the law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession, and inheritance.

After long years of deliberation, the Delhi High Court legalised gay sex among consenting adults in July 2009.

"This latest punt on LGBTQ rights by the nation's highest court promotes state-stationed discrimination by upholding a law that allows hotels, ER doctors, business owners, and even pediatricians to legally deny services to hardworking LGBTQ families in MS", said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. Dating back to the 1800s, Section 377 criminalises anal and oral sex, referring to it as "unnatural sex", and states that it is "against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal". We are living in 21st century.


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