SECTION 377 LGBTQ Community Law In India, 10 Unknown Facts

The Supreme Court’s verdict in order to put its chains on Section 377 came to much applause from the Indian LGBTQ community. Joining the LGBTQ individuals, we saw a surprising number of youth and celebrities welcoming the new change. The popular view among them was that sexual orientation is an unchangeable force of nature as per psychological fact, hence no individual should feel ashamed for who they truly are. This view, however, was a difficult pill to swallow for the older, more conservative generation. Many, mostly owing to the fact that LGBTQ rights were not publically made aware, held the opinion of disgust and echoed a popular concern of the world heading into “Kalyug” or “Doomsday”. Divisive opinions aside, here are some facts to be known on the decision to decriminalize homosexuality:

  1. Right to Privacy: The main challenger for section 377 was the constitutional right to an individual’s privacy.

  2. Road to Decriminalization: The process was initiated by a group of lawyers representing LGBTQ rights sighting that section 377 was unconstitutional.

  3. Pre-colonial History: It is a little-known fact that pre-colonial Hindu history has many depictions of same-sex love in its ancient literature.

  4. Who introduced Section 377? : Much to the surprise of many, section 377 was first imposed by the British.

  5. Role of Indian Psychiatric Centre: The Indian psychiatric centre also called for the decriminalization of homosexuality stating that it was not a psychiatric disorder.

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  6. Proof of Natural Phenomenon: An attorney also appealed to the bench the natural occurrence of same-sex relations in animals to substantiate the occurrence in nature.

  7. Backlash: When the court considered the decriminalization in 2009, the decision was met with appeals from Hindu, Christian and Muslim groups and activists.

  8. Road to Recovery: For those who wondered what changed from then to now, it is the fact that the constitution has been put before the masses. A democracy has certain constitutional laws, hence 377 was decided as unconstitutional.

  9. Reactions to Verdict: There were much celebration and positive news from news media and youngsters. However, many of the citizens have mixed views and emotions.

  10. Progress from Now: The verdict is still fresh with many debates and discussions going on. It is too early to tell whether this will lead to the legalization of gay marriage any time soon.

While developed democratic countries have taken a stand against homophobia, India is still on the road to discovering how liberal they are willing to go with their narrative with regards to the LGBTQ community. All we can hope for is that people understand that everyone’s shoes are different and we cannot judge someone unless we walk in their shoes.