• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • LGBT rights activists shout slogans during a protest in Mumbai December 15, 2013.

    LGBT rights activists shout slogans during a protest in Mumbai December 15, 2013. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 January 2018

The case was reopened after five petitioners, who are also members of the LGBT community, filed a request to review the ban. 

In a major victory for LGBT rights, India may reverse a 2013 ruling which criminalizes gay sex. 

RELATED:
Kerala to Provide Independent Housing to Transgender Community

A larger panel of judges will rule on the 16th century colonial-era law before October of this year. The legislation is outlined in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal." 

"What is natural to one may not be natural to others," the top court said on Monday. "A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear."

In 2013, India squashed major gains won by LGBT activists by reversing the ruling which decriminalized gay sex four years earlier.  

"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 the Constitution," the court added.

The case was reopened after five petitioners, who are also members of the LGBT community, filed a request to review the ban. 

"It is a big relief and a primary step taken by the Supreme Court to review its earlier order," Anand Grover, a lawyer representing the five petitioners, told Reuters. 

The petitioners added that they have been living in fear of being arrested ever since the ban became effective.  

"We are being cautiously optimistic about the development today. We have climbed mountains of hope in the past and come toppling down," said Harish Iyer, an LGBT rights activist who also serves as host of "Gaydio," India’s first radio show on LGBT issues.

In 2015, nearly 1,347 cases were registered, mostly regarding alleged sexual offenses against children, The Guardian reported.

"I think respect for homosexuality is part of Indian culture and homophobia is a western import,” Iyer told the Guardian. "I am fighting for the right to be Indian, to love everyone."

The court is set to review the ban before October of this year, which is of importance considering the anti-LGBT rights stance of the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party government. 

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.