Consensual Adult Gay Sex is No More a Crime

A new dawn for personal liberty is a major victory for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community that has been fighting hard and persistently to legalise gay sex. SC today decriminalises the section 377 with reference to Gay sex.

The judgement has defanged the British-era section 377 of the IPC, which deemed that gay sex is punishable office. Now, it is no longer an offence under section 377 to engage in consensual gay sex in private.

The five judge constitution bench comprising chief justice of India, Dipak Misra and justice R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y chandrachud and Indu Malhotra was unanimous in its decision and held that the law must be interpreted as per the requirement of changing times. Section 377 is discrimination and is violative of constitutional principles. With regard to right to equality is concerned for LGBT community, it is irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible as it fetters the right to equality.  LGBT community possesses same equality as other citizens. And social morality can not violate the rights of even one single individual.

The issue of section 377 was first raised by an NGO, Naaz Foundation, which in 2001 approached the Delhi high court that then decriminalised sex between consenting adults of the same gender by holding the penal provision illegal. Then in 2009 the judgement of the High Court was overturned in 2013 by the Supreme Court which restored the criminality of consensual gay sex.

Today Supreme Court opened the door for fresh pleas to decriminalise gay sex, but any kind of sexual activities with animals shall remain penal offence under section 377 of IPC.

 

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