India, on Thursday 5 September has lifted its ban on gay sex on Thursday after a top court ruling in New Delhi.
Many were seen jubilating after a top court in Delhi lifted its ban on the same-sex relationship, on Thursday, hundreds of LGBTQ campaigners, who gathered outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi, broke into loud cheers as news of the ruling reached, India has been one of the major countries that frown at the LGBT community.
The Supreme Court said, “Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights,”
“The constitution is a living organic document … pragmatic interpretation has to be given to combat rigorous inequality and injustice. Social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual. Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality.”
This has contradicted the former colonial-era law under which same-sex relationship was an “unnatural offence” and punishable by a 10- year jail term under the constitutional validity of section 377.
Menaka Gurusway, who among the lawyers representing the petitioners, had argued in court in July, she said, “This section 377 is a terrible colonial legacy,”
She had compelled the judges to “emancipate a class of people who have not been given the promises of our Constitution”.
The debate to decriminalise same-sex relationship has been put forward seen 2012, which was seen as being immoral in India by the Ministry of Home Affairs, however, justices G.S. Singhvi and S. J. Mukhopadhaya noted that Parliament should debate and decide on the matter.
As reported by Al Jazeera, Ashok Row Kavi, said,
“We become equal citizens with the removal of Section 377. Equal rights are accessible for us with this decriminalisation,”
Activists hope the scrapping of the ban will uphold the right to equality but many acknowledged that discrimination would persist.