The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, has decriminalised homosexuality in India. The Supreme Court ruled that consensual adult gay sex is not a crime in India. All the five judges unanimoulsy passed the judgement. However, certain clauses of the Section 377 like unnatural sex with animals or children are still in place.
What is Section 377?
Section 377 is a law which was brought in 1861. It bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal".
Under the British-era law, people can be imprisoned under section 377 for up to 10 years.
The Supreme Court began hearing petitions to decriminalise gay inJuly. On July 12, Justice Indu Malhotra said, "(Homosexuality) is not an aberration, but a variation...Because of family pressures and societal pressures, they are forced to marry the opposite sex and it leads to bi-sexuality and other mental trauma."
The case was re-opened after five high profile petitioners said that they have been living in fear. The petitioners are Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, restaurateur Ritu Dalmia, Neemrana hotel chain co-founder Aman Nath and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur.
The court said in 2009 that Section 377 is a violation of fundamental rights in the constitution. The government has said that it would go by the court's decision and not push for criminalising gay sex.
As it happenened:
- SC tells that Section 377 was due to the deeply ingrained majoritarianism impulse to subjugate minorities. "Human instinct to love has been constrained. Section 377 is based on deep-rooted gender stereotypes. It is a majoritarian impulse to subjugate a sexual minority to live in silence,"
- Today's SC decision is truly historic. It says that the rights which are granted by the Constitution of India are enjoyed by LGBT community as well. It is a day to celebrate. We have won the legal fight, but in society we still have to gain victory: Ankit Gupta, LGBT activist
Today’s SC decision is truly historic. It says that the rights which are granted by the Constitution of India are enjoyed by LGBT community as well. It is a day to celebrate. We have won the legal fight, but in society we still have to gain victory: Ankit Gupta, LGBT activist pic.twitter.com/ZmH1lwjiLn— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018
- Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. It is a completely natural condition: Supreme Court
- Celebrations in Karnataka underway after the scrapping of the 158-year-old law.
- Justice Chandrachud said that denying rights to sexual orientation is denial of right to privacy.
- Congress MP Shashi Tharoor says, "I'm pleased to welcome SC decision to decriminalise consensual acts of adults in private. In this country we've allowed govt to interfere in private lives of ppl to discriminate against ppl on basis of sexual orientation,but SC stood up for equal treatment of citizens".
I'm pleased to welcome SC decision to decriminalise consensual acts of adults in private. In this country we've allowed govt to interfere in private lives of ppl to discriminate against ppl on basis of sexual orientation,but SC stood up for equal treatment of citizens: S Tharoor pic.twitter.com/daX8KAPTTn— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018
- Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India said, "Take me as I am" while reading the verdict.
- "We have finally got justice. We are finally 'azaad in azaad Hind'" says Ashok Row Kavi, LGBT rights activist and founder of Humsafar Trust on Supreme Court legalises homosexuality.
- Justice Indu Malhotra says, "History owes the members of this community redressal for past persecution and ignorance of the majority. This sction infringed on right against discrimination under Article 15, and privacy under Article 21. In view of the findings, in so far as consensual sex between adults is criminalized, the article is struck down. (Under Articles 14, 19, 21) Consent must mean free consent."
- The state has no business to get in controlling the private lives of LGBT community members: Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud during hearing of Section 377 case earlier today
- "The Constitution protects the fluidity in sexual relations. With regard to sexuality and health, it is important to recognize the difference between individual rights and conduct that harms others (non-consensual sex). Every individual has sovereignty over their body and sexual orientations are defined by natural instincts. Counselling practice will have to focus on de-stigmatising homosexuality, that reflects current medical opinion."
- "Sexual orientation is a natural phenomenon. Any discrimination on this basis is violative of the Constitution. Any individual has sovereignty over his/her body... Many sections continue to suffer exclusions due to stereotypes... We can't call ourselves a developed society unless they are freed from these shackles.. LGBTQ community is no different they possess same rights as others. Sustenance of one's identity is a filament of life, someone's sexuality cannot be criminalised in a free society."
- Celebrations at the Lalit hotel. Keshav Suri, the executive director is a prominent LGTBQ activist.
- SC says that Section 377 of the IPC was used to terrorise the members of the LGBTQ community. Police should be sensitised too.
- Clauses which deal with unnatural sex with animals and children still remain in force.
- Some clauses in Section 377 have been struck down. Firstpost reports that clauses which criminalises consesual sex between adults have also been scrapped.
- People across the country celebrate the SC's landmark judgement
- Bollywood flim maker Karan Johar has reacted to the veridct scrapping section 377. He tweeted, "Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!"
- LGBT community in India is celebrating the SC's historical judgement wherein it has decriminalised the draconian law.
- CJI Dipak Misra , has observed that LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen. Respect for each others rights, and others are supreme humanity. Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible, reported ANI.
- The SC has decrimalised Section 377 in India, which was established in 1861 under the British rule.