It was a historic day and a historic decision made by the Supreme court of India on September 6, 2018. For those who are not aware of Section 377. It is a section of the Indian Penal Code which considers gay sex as a punishable offense. But, not any longer because the Constitution bench of country’s top court has passed the judgement in favor of the LGBTQ community. In its judgement, the court specified that sexual orientation is natural and no one has control over it. Hence, consensual gay sex in private is not a punishable offense anymore.
The Supreme Court said that consensual sex in a private area and in between adults which is of no harm to women or children is permissible and a matter of personal choice of an individual.
The section 377 is about 150 year old law and the supreme-court said that with changing times, the law also needs to be amended. Section 377 had been introduced in the year 1861 by the British rulers in India. As per this act, whosoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal will be punished with life imprisonment, or upto 10 years along with fine.
Well, as per the judges the ban is irrational, manifestly arbitrary and indefensible hence has been reversed after supreme-court had overruled it earlier in the year 2013 and just struck the section 377 partially.
After the judgement was passed the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said that it was time to bid adieu to the prejudices and empower our citizens. At the end he concluded saying “Take me as I am” raising a thumbs up to gay pride.
It is surely a judgement of its kind because it is the harbinger of right to freedom winning out over all odds. The LGBTQ community has been fighting this battle for long time. There also have many cases where the law is twisted and used to scare out the LGBT couples. Its finally a sigh of relief for the community to live with dignity and without fear.
*Sourced from the internet
As we all are know, the supreme court has passed a law criminalizing gay sex, but here’s some good news for the LGBT community. The Supreme court recently decided to rethink their decision about the ban. The decision comes as a definite ray of hope for the community and was taken by the Supreme court on January 10, 2018 wherein the court declared about the re-examination of the Section 377 of IPC banning carnal intercourse against nature’s order with any man, animal or woman. This act is a punishable offence with as long as life time imprisonment punishment for the convicted. Since 16th Century by the British when India was amongst one of its colonies, is when the idea of criminalizing gay sex came into existence.
Though the Supreme courts decision has given the LGBT community a small bit of a reason to celebrate, there are already some representatives of India’s right wing who are all set to extinguish this little revolutionary spark. As per a known Parliamentarian’s opinion, nobody would have any issues with what they do within four walls of their respective homes but if they bring it, celebrate it or flaunt it publically like creating gay bars to attract partners, etc., it needs to be punished and hence the need of Section 377. While he has also made statements calling homosexuality as a genetic flaw, this sentiment seems to have full support of the Indian middle class. Many other known politicians and ministers have gone to extent of calling it a curable disorder and also claiming that homosexuality is against the law of nature and hence the LGBT community needs to be completely disenfranchised.
While fact of the matter is that we already have studies to prove that homosexuality is not something that has cropped up recently, but it has been there since centuries. The living proof is Mesolitic rock art that has depictions of same sex intimacy scenes and is on display already in natural history museums. There is already documented proof as well written around 2345-2181 BCE, depicting the homosexual relationship of Pharaoh Neferkare and his general Sisene. Another one from the 7th Century BCE is a poem depicting love between two females written by Greek poet Sappho.
Yet, the LGBT has been living under constant fear of illegal detention, money extortion, blackmail and harassment by the law enforcement bodies. Besides, they have always faced the brunt of discrimination, abuse and are labelled by many as people with mental condition.
Perhaps, the Supreme court is aware that time has come to make some necessary changes in the centuries old law system of India and work towards eradication of the shame and stigma related to an individual’s sexual identity and create an environment of respect, dignity and equality for this gender.
KLE Law College – Leading premier law school in Bangalore, Inida