India’s Supreme Court decriminalizes gay sex in historic ruling

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06 September, 2018

A law known as "Section 377" had prohibited "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" - which was widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex.

Justice Nariman supporting the scrapping of section 377 of IPC because it violates the LBTQ+ community's rights mentioned in Article 21 of the constitution, said that the whole objective of the Fundamental Rights is to empower the court to strike down laws like Section 377. "No one can escape from their individuality". But that verdict was controversially overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013.

A historic judgement was passed by the Supreme Court on Thursday under which Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code has been struck down.

The initial days of the Constitution Bench hearings saw the Bench debating whether it should travel beyond the topic of sexual orientation and examine the wider concept of "sexuality' to include co-habitation, etc". The Supreme Court that has been hearing petitions against the Section 377 will be giving its verdict today.

"Certain sections of our society have been living in shackles of exclusion". Additionally, the paradox lies in the fact that people belonging to the LGBTQ community have been routinely denied personal liberty even after the Supreme Court in 2017 passed the landmark judgement that made the right to privacy a fundamental right.

"Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of speech and expression".

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"Human sexuality can not be reduced to a binary formulation and decriminalising Section 377 is but a first step".

"We are exclusively on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman". They had sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring section 377 of IPC as illegal and unconstitutional.

This was after the centre had told the Supreme Court that it would not take a stand on the issue but would, instead, leave it to the "wisdom" of the top court of the country. The Apex Court had also clubbed together another a 2016 petition filed by activist Akkai Padmashali which pertains to rights of transgender persons.

Gay sex has always been taboo in conservative India - particularly in rural areas where homophobia is widespread.

The writ petitions were opposed by Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Association and some other NGOs and individuals including Suresh Kumar Kaushal.


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