People who support the striking down of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code said that they were saddened by the Bombay High Court’s refusal to quash the criminal case against a Navi Mumbai resident.
Activists working with the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community said the debate on the section on-going and the term ‘unnatural’ needs to be clarified.
Ashok Row Kavi, chairperson of Humsafar Trust — a group that works for gay and transgender issues — said the term ‘unnatural’ needs to be explained.
“What is unnatural? Whatever that happens in nature is natural. How then can we define ‘unnatural’?” said Kavi.
Activists said the issue was about the freedom of adults to choose their sexual partners. Murugesh Subramanian, who researches LGBT issues said people must understand that any kind of sexual orientation is not a disorder.
“It is not a disease or disorder. Nobody can change the sexual orientation of a person. It is very sad to know about the case. Here, the difficulty is about the 33-year old being married. Yes, if it was about two single men having an intimate relationship then it would be a different issue. But choosing a partner is more about the right to freedom and privacy,” said Subramanian.
Referring to a study released by the World Psychiatry Association, Pawan Dhall, a gender-sexuality activist associated with Varta Trust — a portal focusing on gender and sexuality related advocacy and publishing — said, “First things first, a recent study from WPA clearly stated bisexuality is not a ‘disease’. Hence, if it is about two adult individuals, who agree to have a consensual relationship, there is no real crime.”