Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Twitterati lauds Supreme Court's decision to legalise gay sex

Exclusive! Tusshar Kapoor on #Section377 We don’t need these archaic laws everyone must live happily India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex
Glenn Montgomery | 10 September, 2018, 10:32

On the other hand, Indian National Congress (INC) Thursday hailed as "momentous" the Supreme Court verdict decriminalising consensual gay sex and termed it as an important step forward towards a liberal and tolerant society.

"The law had become a weapon for harassment for the LGBT community", Chief Justice Dipak Misra said as he announced the landmark verdict.

Section 377 defines "unnatural offenses" and claims that whoever consensually has gay sex shall be imprisoned for 10 years as per the 1861 law.

The court had previously reinstated the ban in 2013 after four years of decriminalisation. However, the bench made it clear that sex with animals, which also forms a part of Section 377, will remain a criminal offence.

Second judge Justice R F Nariman says homosexuality is not a mental problem and the Parliament is also alive to the fact. In view of the findings, in so far as consensual sex between adults is criminalized, the article is struck down.

Judgment in Suresh Kumar Koushal overruled. These will have a strong effect on how LGBT persons perceive themselves and how others perceive them.

The court also ruled against the discrimination on basis of an individual's sexual orientation.

Emphasising on individual recognition, he said that "identity is pivotal to one's name". Society is now better for individualism.

Justice Chandrachud ruled that "Members of the LGBT community are entitled, as all other citizens, to the full range of constitutional rights including the liberties protected by the Constitution" and that the LGBT people are "entitled to the benefit of an equal citizenship, without discrimination, and to the equal protection of law". "Hang in there and have hope". Our fight for equality doesn't end with the reading down of section 377.

Indian equal rights activists have undertaken a long and arduous journey to decriminalise same sex relationships. "This decision is basically saying, 'You are not alone, ' " said Menaka Guruswamy, one of the lead attorneys representing the gay Indians who challenged the law. Justice Nariman said homosexuality can not be regarded as "mental disorder" and homosexuals had the right to live with dignity.

CJI Misra, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar, said the denial of self-expression was akin to inviting death.

The verdict is likely to pronounce its verdict at around 11:30 am. All the five judges unanimoulsy passed the judgement.

"It was a law that propagated homophobia", said Keshav Suri, one of the petitioners against Section 377, who organised a Bollywood-style dance show and champagne party at his family's luxury Delhi hotel to celebrate the court victory.

But in 2013, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court set aside the 2009 Delhi HC judgment. However, the issue resurrected in July 2016, when a fresh petition filed. The old curative petition in the same case is still pending before the curative bench.

"Social stigma will go if criminality of gay sex under Section 377 goes".

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

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