Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Love or sexual orientation between Men and Men, Women and women have always remained a deeply controversial topic in human history. Homosexuality is not an offence in India and it is not a mental disorder, five Supreme Court judges declared today in a spectacular leap for gay rights in the country and a rainbow moment in its history. The Supreme Court overruled its own 2013 decision and partially struck down Section 377, a controversial British-era law that banned consensual gay sex. The ban is irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary, the judges said. “Take me as I am,” said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, toasting gay pride. “We have to bid adieu to prejudices and empower all citizens,” said Chief Justice Misra, reading out what he said was a consensus judgment. The judges also said: “Homosexuality not a mental disorder, treat LGBT without stigma.”Section 377, which is part of an 1861 law, bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” — which was interpreted to refer to homosexual sex..A part of that law still remains; non-consensual or consent obtained by force continues to be an offence, as will “carnal intercourse with children, animals and bestiality”.

The verdict is being cheered by millions across the country, far beyond the gay community, which has fought for decades for the right to be treated equally.The historic judgment acknowledged their struggle as it noted “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love.” The judges said: “Respect for individual choice is the essence of liberty; LGBT community possesses equal rights under the constitution.”

This verdict will have great relief for gays and lesbians living in India.