Supreme Court overturns controversial Section 377 ban on homosexuality

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In what will very well go down as a historic judgement in the domain of same sex union and marriage, the Supreme Court of India today overturned its verdict on gay sex that had been criminalized in 2013.

Source: India Today

A landmark verdict passed by five eminent judges of the apex court of the country ensured that homosexuality would no longer be legally treated as either a crime or a mental disorder. In the process the controversial Section 377 was also over ruled, and the ban imposed on consensual gay sex imposed by this particular law  was termed irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary, by the judges of this epoch making decision.

The highly debated 158 years old colonial law had been seriously interfering with the fundamental rights of people belonging to the homosexual fraternity and Justice Chandrachud while reading out the liberating verdict, emphasised on the importance of overruling the discriminatory section, and likened the denial of right to sexual orientation as a denial of the right to privacy, which amounts to infringement of basic human and fundamental rights.

Source: Livemint

Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra was particularly evocative about the landmark judgement, and in a serious upliftment of gay pride urged people to “Take me as I am.”

However, a part of the 1861 law which prohibits non consensual or forced consent for homosexual carnal intercourse continues to remain in force under the new judgement, which allows only for a  relationship based on mutual consent.

The verdict dawned upon the LGBT community after a challenge to over rule the prevailing ban was made by five high profile petitioners, who were living in fear of being punished for their inclination towards same sex love.

And while in India, the verdict is lauded and celebrated by millions of people, even transcending the LGBT fraternity, and opposed by some orthodox institutions, the historic decision has also come in praise from the global watchdog of the United Nations.

In a statement released by the India body of the UN, the ‘landmark ruling’ was welcomed and further hope was reinstated thus: “The United Nations in India sincerely hopes that the court’s ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons”

Source: Namasthe Telangana

Indeed, in passing a judgement as epic as the present one, the Supreme Court of India has reinstilled a sense of security and dignity not only among the gay population in the country but also worldwide. In what it seeks to achieve as a true democracy of the people, this particular decision will no doubt do wonders to hold the country in good stead in the world arena in coming times. On its way to providing the utmost sense of belonging to its LGBTQ population, India surely is on the right path!

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