LGBT activists in India react to Supreme Court’s verdict to criminalize gay...

LGBT activists in India react to Supreme Court’s verdict to criminalize gay sex

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Just one day after the apex court in India upheld the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code on December 11, 2013, the nation displayed its outrage regarding the verdict. The bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi transferred the responsibility to the Parliament, explaining that it was up to the legislature to decide on the desirability of the controversial provision.

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The verdict reached by the Supreme Court has been criticized for many reasons. One of the main issues is that the verdict has put a question mark on the individual freedom and privacy, which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Another issue is that it also blurred limitations of the state, which can now trespass into the bedrooms of consenting adults who are gay and punish them for what they consider to be a completely natural sexual conduct.

Still, the Section 377 does not criminalize people with a specific orientation, but just identifies certain acts which can be considered as an offence. Moreover, the Supreme Court was not even sure if it would punish people for consensual intercourse against the order of the nature, the same way it does for homosexual acts which are not consensual.

The Supreme Court has stated that the Delhi High Court disregarded the fact that minority of the country’s population constitute lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders.

Photo Credits: Aljazeera