In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has scrapped the archaic Section 377, a 158-year-old colonial law that criminalises gay sex. The SC reversed its decision and said that Section 377 is arbitrary and irrational. "LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen. Respect for each other’s rights, and others are supreme humanity. Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible," said Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
If you don't know exactly what the law is, it's 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal", shall be punished by up to 10 years in jail under the 1861 law.
“History owes the LGBT community an apology for their sufferings,” said Justice Indu Malhotra, who was part of the bench. The law denied them their freedom and rights who were forced to live in fear on account of the ignorance of the majority.
Activists have fought long and hard to see this historic day and it's a win for the entire country, not just the LGBTQ community. A well-renowned activist promoting the LGBTQ community, Harish Iyer spoke exclusively to POPxo and said, "India is the land where love is the law. And today India shall rise up and go back to its roots of equal love."
Indian model, gay rights activist and Bigg Boss star, Sushant Divgikar also spoke to us saying, "I think that the law is an insult to democracy and it has no place or value in the modern society. Any constitution must evolve and along with it the society as a whole. It's shocking that the law has even been around for this long. Britishers came in with their inhumane and many countries did away with them, some Commonwealth countries even changed their entire constitution. It is enough. People are tired of this, even the people hating on us are tired. Only once we have legal backing can we start dialogue in the country. It's a revolution and it's now."
Bollywood industry biggies like Karan Johar also took to Twitter to share their opinions on the groundbreakig verdict.
Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back! 👍👍👍💪💪💪🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/ZOXwKmKDp5
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) 6 September 2018
However, this isn't the end. "The decriminalisation of homosexuality by the Supreme Court of India is a monumental move and will change the course of life for the LGBTQ community. That being said, the struggles are not yet over. We need to ensure complete citizenship, equal rights, protection and liberties are given, in practice. Gender sensitisation trainings across sectors will help us move forward", says Ishaan Sethi who is the founder of India's first LGBTQ networking app.
"Where the mind is without fear and the head held high; Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake." We're a step towards making Rabindranath Tagore's words a reality. Love isn't divided into wrong and right, good and bad, homo or hetro or bi, it's just plain and simple love. ❤
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