Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on Section 377; an arguable law came into existence at the time of colonization that criminalizes gay sex. Section 377 defines “unnatural offenses” and claims that whoever consensually has gay sex shall be imprisoned for 10 years as per the 1861 law.
In previous hearings, the court had declared that “no one should have to live in fear because of their sexuality”.
Section 377 – Final Verdict
Finally, after a lot of struggle and protest, Supreme Court decriminalizes Section 377 and legalizes homosexuality.
— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018
We join the people of India & the LGBTQIA+ community in their victory over prejudice. We welcome the progressive & decisive verdict from the Supreme Court & hope this is the beginning of a more equal & inclusive society. #Section377 pic.twitter.com/Fh65vOn7h9
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 6, 2018
Section 377 – A New Battle
Five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has deliver the verdict shortly.
Five high-profile petitioners – Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, restaurateur Ritu Dalmia, Neemrana hotel chain co-founder Aman Nath, and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur – argue that Section 377 violates the rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The Supreme Court began hearing petitions against the ban in July and had earlier said that “If section 377 of the IPC goes away entirely, there will be anarchy. We are solely on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman. Consent is the fulcrum here.”
No matter what #India’s Supreme Court decides today, there are many many people we have to be thankful to for bringing us this day of hope. Activists, lawyers, and #LGBT persons who had the courage to speak out and fight discrimination and violence every day. #377 pic.twitter.com/8L1yuF1Mch
— Jayshree Bajoria (@jayshreebajoria) September 6, 2018
Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is quite optimistic about LGBTI equality in India. The section is based on Victorian moralities, not Indian moralities’, the prince said. India has accepted LGBTI people for centuries, he argued. Same-sex copulation is depicted in the Kama Sutra and on ancient temples.
Section 377 ‘completely violates the human right to have the freedom to fall in love’, he said.
On July 11, the centre handed over to the wisdom of the Supreme Court to analyze the constitutional validity of the penal provision that criminalized “consensual acts of adults in private”, saying this was the question under section 377 which shall be answered by the bench of the constitution.
Do you possess a right to live your sex? Does it take courage to make changes in laws that have lasted over 150 years? Share your ideas on LGBTI in the comments below.