Various NGOs welcome SC judgement on homosexuality

Observing that the question of criminalizing homosexuality “involves very large and significant constitutional issues”, the Supreme Court has recently referred the matter to a five-judge Constitution Bench

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IMPULSE  India, a forum of MSM TG and Hijra (MTH) community supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)/India cares, that raise awareness on sexual health, especially HIV/ AIDS among the MTH community members while increasing their access to HIV testing and condom usage in India, has appreciated the judgment given by the Supreme Court of India on curative petition challenging IPC Section 377 curative petition challenging IPC Section 377on the curative petition challenging IPC section 377.

As per senior counsel, Mr Kapil Sibal, “By this judgement, you have bound the present and future generations to dignity and stigma”. Further, he added that human sexuality should not be stigmatised.Also Impulse India urged to all the political leaders to support gay rights and not to stigmatize human sexuality.

The IPC section 377 was declared unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults by the High Court of Delhi on July 02, 2009. That judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court of India on 11 December 2013, with the Court holding that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary.

But on February 02, 2016, the Supreme Court of India passed a historic judgment. Observing that the question of criminalizing homosexuality “involves very large and significant constitutional issues”, the Supreme Court referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench to its 2013 ruling that upheld a law making gay sex an offence punishable by 10 years to a life term in jail. Offering hope to gay rights organizations, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Mr T S Thakur said that the clutch of curative petitions demanding reversal of the verdict should be heard by a larger bench since they pose questions with “constitutional dimensions of importance”.

“Just as men and women are able in our country today to enjoy normal relations with each other, without attracting the negative provisions of the law, so should our LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community”, said Dr Sita Ratna Devi, Bureau Chief – AHF India.

“In the true sense this is curative, a cure for injustice has been taken. The world is watching and this is a progressive step. I am optimistic that good is around the corner. A new avenue for human rights has been opened. Humanity has won over hypocrisy.”said Mr Manavendra Singh Gohil, Prince of Rajpipla, AHF India and Impulse India’s Ambassador.

“It is a happy, victorious and hopeful moment. The next judgment hopefully will be in the favor of the community. It is a step closer to getting the dignity of living and fundamental rights. And definitely it’s a stepforwardto end the sexual harassment faced by the LGBTQ people and acceptance in the society. Also Impulse India is hopeful that this will help repeal the archaic penal code”,said Mr Bismaya Kumar Raulo, Program Coordinator – Impulse India.

“It’s definitely a great step forward in eliminating stigma related to HIV as the MTH community is at high risk of getting infected with HIV. And people from the community, often don’t get tested and the medications just because of their sexual orientation. The discrimination of IPC section 377 will give equal rights to the LGBT people in the society and definitely it’s going to bring a revolution in India”, said Mr Jose Ramos – Founder and Head of Impulse.