The highest court of the land on Thursday read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalising ‘unnatural sex’ between consenting adults, leading to celebrations across the country.
The bench comprised Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. The justices penned down four separate but concurring judgments -- one by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar, and one each by the other three judges.
Reactions poured in from all quarters — of relief, joy and of finally being able to identify, and hailed the Supreme Court for its verdict.
Welcoming the decision, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, “Hope we move towards a more liberal, tolerant and inclusive society.”
Personal choices we make in our lives should not be dictated by law - well done SC for this historic verdict. #Section377— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) September 6, 2018
The rights of #LGBTQ community are finally recognized and India has taken an important step towards fulfiling its universal human rights obligations. Hope we move towards a more liberal, tolerant and inclusive society.#Section377— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) September 6, 2018
“So pleased to learn that the Supreme Court has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377 on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity & constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS,” wrote Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
So pleased to learn that the SupremeCourt has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377& on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity &constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS.— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 6, 2018
In a statement, the United Nations also welcomed the reading down of the law.
“The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court’s ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons. We also hope that the judgment will boost efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons in all areas of social, economic, cultural and political activity, thereby ensuring a truly inclusive society. The focus must now be on ensuring access to justice, including remedy; effective investigations of acts of violence and discrimination; and effective access to economic, social and cultural rights,” the UN statement said.
I AM A FEMME PANSEXUAL QUEER PERSON AND I AM LEGAL.— Gulabo (@shreyilaanasuya) September 6, 2018
Have come home from work to tell my lovely and proudly queer 13 year old about the judgement. Waiting at the bus stop to receive her from school where she had an exam. Can't wait to tell her and hug her and kiss her and am crying and laughing at the same time.— Arpita Das (@arpitayodapress) September 6, 2018
To everyone who has fought— Hi, This Is Shayo (@Shayonnita15) September 6, 2018
To everyone who refused to give up
to those who stood up to parents, friends, society,
To, the ones whose faith trumped all
To these wonderful, wonderful people
Thank you. Thank you. Lead on.
India, finally out of the closet
Atleast legally, for now https://t.co/ndGr2Opjv0
We are free.— harish iyer (@hiyer) September 6, 2018
Great news about the 377 article being held unconstitutional ....I am absolutely delighted that such a barbaric provision has finally been done away with. Jai Ho Supreme Court. Truly a achcha din— K Sujatha Rao (@sujakrao) September 6, 2018
The Late Lela Sheth would have been so happy and proud today , as a mother as a parent and as a human rights defender she stood by her son Vikram Sheth and the entire LGBT community https://t.co/3aeOQVdwwu— indira jaising (@IJaising) September 6, 2018
Now it's time for providing equal opportunities at workspaces, educational institutions. Bringing in affirmative actions for more trans inclusivity. Creating safe inclusive spaces and most importantly sensitising every individual!— EverydayCasteism (@DivyaKandukuri_) September 6, 2018
This is such a happy day for India!