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Decriminalization of 377

“The rights of every man are diminished when rights of one man is threatened.” Science says LGBT is not a choice of living. It’s just a variation in human sexuality. So why should people of such diversity be tabooed?

RSS said, “No criminalization yet no glorification.” Well I think there is glorification in accepting a person the way he is. As Maneka Guruswamy said, “It seemed that a class of people left out the promises of our constitution.”

KS Radhakrishnan , who also appeared for one of the parties, argued that Section 377 did not criminalize ‘sexual orientation’ but penalized ‘certain acts’ and stated that criminalization of such acts was necessary to prevent the risk of AIDs and HIV. The Mautner project, a leading national lesbian health organization, found that seventy five percent of lesbians are obtaining health care compared to fifty four percent of heterosexuals. If social stigma is placed upon them then often it leads to sexual non-identification or forcible sexual non-identification. As Justice Dipak Misra said that the social stigma would gradually move away once its brought to practice like any other age old custom which was once tabooed by the society. “Most of us believe that we can spot a drowning man, when we see one” but actually we have missed many! Decriminalizing of 377 might lead to a possible challenge to prohibition against incenstuous relations under personal laws.

When there’s a blotch in the society, there’s no point in sweeping it under the carpet. The best part is to accept it and walk along with it If Article 377 was not decriminalized then a section of the population was denied from article 14 (Equality before law to all individuals), article 15 (no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, sex), article 21 (right to life and liberty to all the citizens of the country). “Persons who are homosexual have a fundamental right to live with dignity, which, in the larger is the framework of the preamble of India, will assure the cardinal constitutional value of fraternity.” Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman. This judgement has been a tribute to all those people who had committed suicide and was raped due to the stigma.

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, bestiality.” Hence we can avoid the growing tendency among children and army men inching towards carnal intercourse to satisfy their growing frustration.

As a German thinker , Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe had said, “I am what I am so take me as I am”, this verdict of the Supreme Court has saved the LGBTQ+community from the denial of self expression like any other community. This decriminalization has been able to vanquish prejudice and embrace equality and inclusion of all people.

- Atrayee Banerjee