India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

Section 377: Supreme Court Renders India's Archaic Law Unconstitutional In Historic Verdict

The verdict by the five-judge bench was unanimous.

What is Section 377?

The law against gay sex, known as "Section 377", was introduced during British rule of South Asia more than a century-and-a-half ago. Adoption and inheritance is also considered to be legal for same-sex marriages.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who was among the five judges to strike down the law, said in his ruling that the government should have taken a categorical stand.

Anwesh Pokkuluri, another petitioner, said, "Based on how the proceedings have gone, we do not see how they can uphold (the ban)". This confirms that in our nation the majority doesn't determine the lives of the minorities. "Human instinct to love has been constrained".

"Historical judgment! So proud today!"

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As a result, the LGBT people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community of India were denied of their rights. It is a day to celebrate.

Celebrations in Karnataka underway after the scrapping of the 158-year-old law. "Criminalising carnal intercourse under section 377 Indian penal code is irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary", said Chief Justice, Dipak Misra.

"We hope and will make sure that other countries will follow suit in overturning this remnant from colonial law", said Mani Aq of the Pakistani branch of the Naz Foundation.

"The constitution nurtures dissent as safety valve of society, we can't change history but can pass way for better future", the Supreme Court said.

"History owes an apology to the LGBT community and their families for the ignominy, ostracisation and discrimination against them". This sction infringed on right against discrimination under Article 15, and privacy under Article 21. The Centre further highlighted that it won't contest provision as regards to consensual sex between adults and leaves it to the Bench, but seeks clarification on bestiality. "Sexual relations are a sacred part of this bond". The sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of expression.

They added: "Bodily autonomy is individualistic". Many sections continue to suffer exclusions due to stereotypes. At the end they're all humans and such a decision by Indian judiciary is a commendable one.

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In 2011, the then Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a convention attended by former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and a host of other Union ministers, had said homosexuality is a "disease" and it is "unnatural". "Sustenance of identity is the essence of existence". Keshav Suri is the executive director of Lalit-Suri Hospitality Group, that runs Lalit Chain of Hotels.

The judgement is being hailed as historic in extending rights to the LGBTQ community and giving the right to live with dignity to the community members. Police should be sensitised too. The court said other aspects of section 377, dealing with sex with animals and children, remain in place.

Some clauses in Section 377 have been struck down. "The country gets its oxygen back!" he wrote on Twitter.

The two national parties were opposed to decriminalizing homosexuality up until a few years ago. This will create a huge discourse around the rights of LGBT persons and it is being ordered by the court to be disseminated in a wide way. Respect for each others rights, and others are supreme humanity. But the ruling could face a legal challenge from groups that say gay sex erodes traditional values.

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

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