Indias Supreme Court decriminalises homosexuality

India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

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.

"History owes an apology to members of the community for the delay in ensuring their rights", said Indu Malhotra, who was another judge on the bench.

In Delhi, 183 cases were registered under Section 377 and in Maharashtra 170 such cases were registered.

Quoting from his 180-page concurring opinion, Justice Chandrachud said: "It is well for a judge to remind himself or herself of the fact that flattery is often the graveyard of the gullible". But the Supreme Court accepted a petition filed by five people who claimed they are living in fear of being harassed and prosecuted by police.

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"Its not just consensual sex between homosexual partners that this court should recognize, but their love for each other".

"For the first time since independence the gay community in the country is experiencing freedom in the real sense", Gohil told AFP. But four years later, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict, saying any amendment must be made by parliament and not the judiciary. The privacy judgment struck down earlier Supreme Court judgments, that immediately had a bearing on the 2013 Section 377 order as well.

Justice Nariman pointed out that India's Mental Healthcare Act had recognised that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and ordered the government to work towards eradicating the stigma surrounding sexual minorities, The Hindu report added.

As per NDTV, in one of the hearings, CJI Dipak Misra had said that if two adults are engaging in "unnatural sex", with consent, they will not be committing any offence.

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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". "We have thrown out the British once again", one activist says, per the Guardian. The India that we are going to live in from now on is going to be a lot more inclusive and colourful. So, we are aware. We can't call ourselves a developed society unless they are freed from these shackles. "Sexual orientation is one of the many biological phenomena which is natural and inherent in an individual and is controlled by neurological and biological factors".

In 2009, the Delhi high court had read down the section, calling it a "violation of fundamental rights".

There were cheers, tears and hugs as a wave of joy swept through the LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender) community in the country on hearing that Section 377 had been scrapped. Section 377 is based on deep-rooted gender stereotypes. In the writ petitions too, there is a challenge to the 2013 judgement of the apex court by which homosexuality was held as a criminal offence.

"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.

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