Section 377
Welcoming the decision, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, “Hope we move towards a more liberal, tolerant and inclusive society.”

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.”

“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.

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.

Read: First victory in a long battle: LGBTQ+ community celebrates reading down of Sec 377

Also read: So you want to be an ally to the LGBTQI community? Here’s a starter kit