Supreme Court decriminalises Section 377, declares homosexuality legal

India's Supreme Court has overturned Section 377 of its Penal Code, which had criminalized any sexual acts "against the order of nature", including consensual sex between adults of the same gender. That the law must not discriminate is one aspect of equality.

The CJI also said: "Section 377 IPC subjects the LGBT community to societal pariah and dereliction and is, therefore, manifestly arbitrary, for it has become an odious weapon for the harassment of the LGBT community by subjecting them to discrimination and unequal treatment".

Similar gatherings were held across India, with LGBT community members handing out chocolates in the southern city of Chennai, while gay activists rejoiced on Twitter. These deal with unnatural sex with animals and children. "Therefore, Section 377 IPC in its present form violates Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution". Social morality can not be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual.

The judgment came on a clutch of writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri, and business executive Ayesha Kapur as well as 20 former and current students of the IITs.

He also said that homosexuality can not be regarded as a mental disorder and gays have the right to live with dignity.


Celebrations broke out all around the nation as the LGBTQ community welcomed the SC verdict on Section 377, asserting that the "historic" verdict granted them a basic human right but also acknowledging that complete equality was still some distance away.

They had sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring Section 377 _ enacted 158 years ago _ illegal and unconstitutional.

"Such a view is constitutionally impermissible", stated CJI Misra, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar.

"This verdict could give rise to other issues such as an increase in the number of HIV cases", member of parliament Subramanian Swamy told CNN-News18. Back in July of 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexuality, but it didn't stick.

Lawyer Anand Grover, who was representing Naz Foundation against Section 377, talks to the media after the Supreme Court verdict.


Respect for each other's rights, and others are supreme humanity.

The Supreme Court 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.

She had urged the judges to "emancipate a class of people who have not been given the promises of our Constitution".

On Thursday, a leader of a prominent hard-line Hindu group noted that while it doesn't see homosexuality as a crime, it believes gay marriage is not "compatible with nature".


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