The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in the country who had pinned their hopes today against the Supreme Court’s verdict on Section 377 of the IPC received a major blow. In a surprise move, Justice GS Singhvi of the Supreme Court has set aside a landmark judgement by the Delhi high court that decriminalized homosexual sex between two consenting adults. This essentially means that gay sex in India stands illegal again.
As reported by Firspost, the bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya before giving the verdict, heard appeals filed by various social and religious organizations who consider gay sex as against the cultural and religious values of the country. While ruling out the verdict the bench has now very smartly placed the ball in Parliament’s court to take a decision on the controversial issue, saying it is for the legislature to debate and decide on the matter.
As of now the Section 377 of the penal code (unnatural offences) reads like this:
Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1[ imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation.- Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.
The ruling has created a widespread disappointment among the LGBT community and the reactions were obviously felt on Twitter too. As I write, hashtags like #Sec377 and #LGBT have been trending on top of the India Twitter trends since this morning.
Some of the tweets that have been doing the talking are listed below:
In my personal opinion,the state must not interfere in 2 consenting adults private lives #Sec377
— RPN Singh (@SinghRPN) December 11, 2013
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) December 11, 2013
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) December 11, 2013
— Celina Jaitly (@CelinaJaitly) December 11, 2013
If we still retain every bad law passed by the British, then what for we got independence? To pass more bad laws ourselves, a? Ok. #Sec377
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) December 11, 2013
The Supreme Court got it wrong today. #Sec377
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) December 11, 2013
— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) December 11, 2013
India: where people are forgiven for heinous crimes in their public lives but, judged for perceived 'crimes' in their private lives. #Sec377
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) December 11, 2013
The Supreme Court judgement on Article 377 is a step backwards towards barbarism and medievalism.
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) December 11, 2013
The judgement obviously is not encouraging but to get it passed won’t be an easy task in a country like ours where religious and cultural sentiments run quite high. Nevertheless, latest reports suggest that the LGBT activists are not giving up and are planning to organize support in the capital for their ongoing movement.
Image credit: ctvnews.ca