Town Reacts to the S. 377 Verdict Decriminalising Homosexuality

Town Reacts to the S. 377 Verdict Decriminalising Homosexuality

Town Reacts to the S. 377 Verdict Decriminalising Homosexuality

According to official data, 2,187 cases under Section 377 were registered in 2016 under the category of "unnatural offences".

Activists had been fighting the ban since the 1990s, suffering several court reverses before Thursday's verdict which sparked celebrations among lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender groups across the vast South Asian nation.

In giving the judgement, the SC has made some progressive observations. We can not look at the state as a parent.

"Any discrimination on this basis is unconstitutional". "Once the criminality (under section 377) goes, then everything will go (all the bars, social stigma and others)", said the bench headed by CJI Deepak Misra, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

What society thinks, the judges said, has no place when it comes to people's freedoms.

"No one can escape from their individuality", the CJI said, citing John Mills. The judges on Thursday referred to that as well.

"LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen". It had overturned a landmark judgement by the Delhi High court in 2009 which had ruled that consenting intercourse between two adults was not illegal. Gay sex was punishable by up to 10 years in jail. Today five years down the line, the court is hearing the appeal against it once again and let's hope the verdict is just what we all want to hear. In 2009, the Delhi High Court described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

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The top court's verdict was previously set to be delivered on July 17, but on that day, it chose to reserve its verdict. But Chief Justice Misra finally observed that the Bench should first decide the question of the constitutionality of Section 377.

Denial of right to sexual orientation is denial of privacy rights.

Homosexuality is not against the order of nature, but nature itself. Like Balachandra, other petitioners, as well as members from Pravritti, felt that this time, positive outcome would come.

A panel of five judges issued a unanimous judgment striking down the provision and affirming the right to equality and dignity.

Taking note of the Centre's submission that other issues like gay marriages, adoption and ancillary civil rights of LGBTQ community should not be dealt, the court said it was not considering all these issues.

The judgment comes on a batch of petitions, including the lead one filed by hotelier Keshav Suri, arguing that the right to sexual orientation is meaningless without the right to choose a partner.

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