Rainbow of hope: Supreme Court set to revisit gay sex criminality

Katrina Barker
January 9, 2018

". We are pleased that the Supreme Court declined to take up these baseless challenges, which misrepresented the law's sole goal of ensuring that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union", stated Theriot.

The ban on homosexual sex was overturned by the Delhi high court in 2009 but was reinstated by the supreme court four years later in a judgment that drew widespread condemnation, including from the United Nations.

Mississippi's law was one of a series of measures proposed in socially conservative, Republican-dominated states that gay rights advocates viewed as an attempt to undermine the High Court's gay marriage ruling.

The Supreme Court also mentioned to a Constitutional bench the petition seeking to decriminalize consensual sex between LGBTQ adults.

Welcoming the apex court decision to review its 2013 decision on gay sex, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said Section 377 should be decriminalised and hoped that the government would repeal it or courts read down the article.

Salve was quoted by ANI as saying, " Section 377 is dead after the nine-judge bench which has said all these are dimensions of Right to Privacy. "We are asking for constitutional rights given to any citizen in the country", said Koninika Roy from the Humsafar Trust that works with LGBT community.

This follows the apex court's August judgment holding privacy to be a fundamental right and additionally that sexual orientation forms an essential attribute of privacy. But lower courts, without ruling on the merits of the law, said those suing could not show that they would be harmed by it.

The supreme court observed in 2013 that fewer than 200 people had been convicted for homosexual acts under the legislation but activists say it is regularly used to blackmail and intimidate LBGTI Indians as well as to stymie HIV/Aids prevention efforts. A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, was hearing a fresh plea filed by Navtej Singh Johar, seeking to declare section 377 as unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's decision today leaves LGBT people in MS in the crosshairs of hate and humiliation, delaying justice and equality.

The law was immediately challenged. A promising sign, the Court also asked the government to respond to a petition from five LGBTQ people who said they live in fear of police due to their identities.

"Everybody has equal right to live life the way they want", Dev said. "We think it appropriate to send this issue to a larger bench", they said.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER