India’s Supreme Court decriminalizes gay sex in historic ruling

Marsha Scott
September 6, 2018

"History owes an apology to members of the community for the delay in ensuring their rights. section 377 will, however, continue to govern non-consensual sexual acts, carnal intercourse with minors and acts of bestiality".

"Section 377, which holds same-sex relations unnatural, does not suffer from unconstitutionality", said a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadaya. "No one can escape from their individuality".

United Nations in India has welcomed the Supreme Court ruling.

A Supreme Court constitution bench on Thursday pronounced a unanimous verdict scrapping Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises "unnatural sex".

Justice Rohinton Nariman taking note of Justice Chandrachud's observations during the July 17 hearing had said that prohibitions have never resolves any social issue. He said, "We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights", according to LiveLaw. "It is a massive time to celebrate", the Lalit group executive director who is also a petitioner in the Section 377 case told news agency ANI.

Section 377 verdict LATEST updates: "Human instinct to love has been constrained". But four years later, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict, saying any amendment must be made by parliament and not the judiciary. "It is not only about decriminalising but recognising our fundamental rights".

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"Human sexuality can not be reduced to a binary formulation and decriminalising Section 377 is but a first step". As per current law, anyone who indulges in same sex will get up to 10 years in prison.

He also said that Any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.

The SC was firm that no community, however small it may be by comparison to the majority, could be deprived of their sexual rights and expression of sexual orientation.

"We are exclusively on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman".

The Supreme Court had re-affirmed that the scope of the present litigation was only limited to the constitutional validity of Section 377 with regard to recognizing homosexuality as a crime and stated that it would address civil rights and other issues when they come before the court.

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

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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