31 October, 2020

Section 377: It’s Still A Long Road Ahead

When a right is decriminalised, the most vulnerable feel the change the most

Photograph by PTI
Section 377: It’s Still A Long Road Ahead

The Supreme Court judgement decriminalising Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a historic decision and the culmination of a process. I have huge respect and gratitude for the decision. But, to take an overall view, it is like throwing a bone to a dog. Nobody is asking for favours, but for constitutional rights. We’re talking about Indian citizens. Whether they are in a minority or majority, they are citizens and the Constitution says every citizen is equal in the eyes of law. So how can you possibly not provide the same rights, including those pertaining to inh­eritance, property, adoption, having a family, marrying or living together? Wherever same-sex unions were legalised in Europe and the US, the acceptability quotient immediately imp­roved. The court recognises this and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud even said it in so many words—quite obviously, they see this as the next phase, by the inevitability of law following its own logic. We can see that coming; how long will people wait is the question.

We petitioners come from privileged backgrounds. We...



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