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SC to reconsider verdict criminalising gay sex

09 January, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was responding to a fresh petition brought by a group of five persons of the LGBT community

With the apex court referring the matter to a larger bench, here is a quick recap of the controversial law's recent history through five must-know latest developments.

The Mississippi law allowing government workers and businesses to deny services to LGBT people by claiming religious objections will stand because the U.S. Supreme Court has decided against hearing an appeal.

India may be on the verge of a major victory for gay rights after the country's supreme court agreed to re-examine a colonial-era law outlawing sex between men.

The Supreme Court of India announced Monday that it would reconsider its 2013 ruling upholding Section 377, a colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex sexual relations.

The judgment that overturned a 2009 judgment by Delhi High Court that decriminalised homosexual acts also said "plight of sexual minorities" can not be applied blindfolded for deciding the constitutionality of the law enacted by the Indian legislature.




"While we are disappointed in the Court's decision, the ACLU of MS will not stand quietly by while discrimination is sanctioned".

Section 377 of IPC - which came into force in 1862 - defines unnatural offences.

The court said, "The determination of the order of nature is not a constant phenomenon". Moreover, the law also mentions that "penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section". While prosecutions under section 377 have been rare, activists have said that the police used the law to harass and intimidate members of the LGBT community. "Because of that, we are pleased that the Supreme Court declined to take up these baseless challenges, which misrepresented the law's sole objective of ensuring that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union".

Arvind Datar was speaking for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and said that section 377 was not a "reasonable restriction". Underlining the need to bring them into the mainstream, the verdict by a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said transgenders should have all rights under the law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession, and inheritance.

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