Nothing Unnatural about it: SC decriminalises Gay Sex, reads down Section 377

A supporter of the LGBT community takes part in a gay pride parade in the Indian city of Chennai

A supporter of the LGBT community takes part in a gay pride parade in the Indian city of Chennai

The verdict was met with scenes of joy across the country: The BBC said "Campaigners outside the court cheered and some broke down in tears as the ruling was handed down". Indeed, it has been made possible because of the turning point that was seen in this case to quash "377", when the honorable Supreme Court chose to reopen the case.

CJI Deepak Mishra and Justice DV Chandrachud will give their separate judgments. This is surprising for all students of law what happened to the curative petition which was still pending with the Supreme Court of India.

Justice Chandrachud was addressing the 19 Annual Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Oration 2018 organised by the National Law University, Delhi (NLU-D).

Indian members of the Integration Society, an organization committed to the defence of human rights and sexual freedom carry a rainbow banner as they take part in a march entitled "Walk on the Rainbow" in Kolkata, 26 June 2005 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in NY, said to be the birth of the Gay Liberation Movement. However, the bench made it clear that sex with animals, which also forms a part of Section 377, will remain a criminal offence.

"LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen". "It is not only about decriminalising but recognising our fundamental rights". He noted, "Human sexuality can not be confined to a binary".

He also ruled: "Above all, all government officials, including and in particular police officials, and other officers of the Union of India and the states, be given periodic sensitisation and awareness training of the plight of such persons in the light of the observations contained in this judgment". The Supreme Court that has been hearing petitions against the Section 377 will be giving its verdict today.

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In a landmark decision for LGBTQ rights and the community in India, the country's highest court has decriminalised gay sex.

LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community faced the stigma because of the criminality attached to consensual same-sex relationship, the bench had said. The sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of expression.

"It was a law that propagated homophobia", said Keshav Suri, one of the petitioners against Section 377, who organised a Bollywood-style dance show and champagne party at his family's luxury Delhi hotel to celebrate the court victory.

Welcoming the decision, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "Hope we move towards a more liberal, tolerant and inclusive society".

Justice Chandrachud, while reading out the operative portion of his verdict, said the members of LGBTQ community were targeted and exploited due to Section 377 of IPC. "This is the first battle that has been won and there are many more battles that we are going to fight", he said.

'So proud today! Decriminalizing homosexuality and abolishing section 377 is a huge thumb up for humanity and equal rights!

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