Cong welcomes SC decision to revisit gay sex law

Violet Powell
January 9, 2018

Lawyer Anand Grover, who appeared for five members of the LGBT community who had petitioned the court seeking a review of the ban, said: "It is a big relief and a primary step taken by the Supreme Court to review its earlier order".

The judgment that overturned a 2009 judgment by Delhi High Court that decriminalised homosexual acts also said "plight of sexual minorities" can not be applied blindfolded for deciding the constitutionality of the law enacted by the Indian legislature.

Last June, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of the law, reversing a lower court decision by Judge Carlton W. Reeves blocking the law.

Section 377 of IPC, came into force in 1862 - defines unnatural offences. The gays in India are hopeful that now hardly any scope is left for those in support of Section 377 of the IPC.

The Supreme Court said that a large group of judges would re-consider and examine the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the law which criminalizes sexual relationship against the law of nature.

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In August 2017, the Supreme Court, in a landmark verdict, declared right to privacy a fundamental right, ushering in hope for the gay and LGBT community.

We will keep fighting in MS until we overturn this harmful law, and in any state where anti-gay legislators pass laws to roll back LGBT civil rights. The SC decision will definitely strengthen arguments for decriminalisation of homosexuality.

"The top court's judgment upholding validity of Section 377 appears to hurt the sexual preferences of individuals", said the three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. "A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear".

"Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under article 21 of constitution". A promising sign, the Court also asked the government to respond to a petition from five LGBTQ people who said they live in fear of police due to their identities. "The people of Mississippi have the right to ensure that all of our citizens are free to peacefully live and work without fear of being punished for their sincerely held religious beliefs", Bryant said, according to Mississippi Today.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused an important hearing concerning fighting anti-LGBTQ law. It also includes a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

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