India's top court decriminalizes gay sex

10 September, 2018, 10:32 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Exclusive! Tusshar Kapoor on #Section377 We don’t need these archaic laws everyone must live happily

The verdict was met with scenes of joy across the country: The BBC said "Campaigners outside the court cheered and some broke down in tears as the ruling was handed down". However, certain clauses of the Section 377 like unnatural sex with animals or children are still in place.

"Such a view is constitutionally impermissible", stated CJI Misra, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar.

No sooner the judgment was announced, celebrations erupted as people from the community rejoiced in the streets, by dancing and waving rainbow flags with gay abandon.

Justice Chandrachud was addressing the 19 Annual Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Oration 2018 organised by the National Law University, Delhi (NLU-D).

In its order, the apex court said, "The declaration of the aforesaid reading down of Section 377 shall not, however, lead to the reopening of any concluded prosecutions, but can certainly be relied upon in all pending matters, whether they are at the trial, appellate, or revisional stages".

What Happened In The Court That Day?

The Indian Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday in a landmark judgement legalised consensual sexual relations between adults of the same gender, partially striking down a British-era law that criminalised homosexuality.

The court said sex with animals, which also forms a part of Section 377, would remain a criminal offense.

The Bench maintained that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are entitled to the entire range of same legal and constitutional rights as other citizens of the country.

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The petition claimed their rights to sexuality, sexual autonomy, choice of sexual partner, life, privacy, dignity and equality, along with the other fundamental rights guaranteed under Part-III of Constitution, are violated by Section 377. He noted, "Human sexuality can not be confined to a binary".

"The sodomy law that became the model everywhere, from Uganda to Singapore to the United Kingdom itself, premiered in India, becoming the confusing and dehumanizing standard replicated around the world", she said in a statement, saying "today's historic outcome will reverberate across India and the world".

The Indian government had opposed ending Section 377 but said ahead of the hearing that it would leave the decision to the "wisdom" of the Supreme Court.

Do you possess a right to live your sex?

The country's LGBTQ community is hopeful that the controversial ban, which India's top court reinstated in 2013 after four years of decriminalisation, will be struck down on Thursday.

He said: "Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - can not be said to be unconstitutional".

He further said that the issue is how do you deal with sexual orientation with an expression of sex in Article 15 of the Constitution. We welcome the progressive & decisive verdict from the Supreme Court & hope this is the beginning of a more equal & inclusive society.

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". So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights!

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