SC ruling on gay sex disappoints LBGT community, activists | india | Hindustan Times
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SC ruling on gay sex disappoints LBGT community, activists

india Updated: Dec 11, 2013 16:12 IST
Nishtha
Nishtha
Hindustan Times
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The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and the activists who have been fighting for their rights, have been disappointed by the Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutional provision making consensual sex between adults of the same gender a punishable offence.

The SC on Wednesday set aside a Delhi high court’s 2009 ruling that had decriminalised gay sex.

While setting aside the high court order, the apex court allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations for making gay sex a criminal offence.

The apex court observed there is no constitutional infirmity in section 377 of IPC which makes gay sex an offence and added that it is for the legislature to look into the desirability of deleting the provision from the law.

Reacting to the ruling, Harish Iyer, an equal rights activist said, gays have a constitutional right to be who they are.

“The judgment criminalises gay sex but it can’t take away my right to be gay. The lawmakers or the country shouldn’t be bothered with what happens in the confines of my bedroom, if the act is with my consent,” said Iyer.

He further added that if it is possible a review petition must be filed.

Terming this day as a black day, Anjali Gopalan from the Naz Foundation said, “How could they do this? We will read the judgment carefully and look at all our legal recourses,” she said.

The activists felt that a big battle for the community lies ahead and there is an urgent need to rebuild the movement for gay rights.

“The next step is to rebuild the earlier movement against section 377 and every other form of violence, legal and non-legal, against LGBT communities. The Delhi high court order did not call for the repeal of 377 nor did it address any of the issues that actually affect poor and marginalised LGBT communities across the country,” said an activist.

The activists argued the community is now vulnerable to hostility from the police and the people who do not support the LGBT community.

“It is possible that the extortion cases by the police might increase. If they see two same sex people they might use this judgment and threaten them to extort money. This is a possibility,” said Harish Iyer.

Vimal Bhai, an activist with the National Alliance of People’s movement, said, “This is a human rights violation. I want to live in my country freely with my identity. Is it too much to ask?”