It happened. It finally happened.
The Supreme Court of India decriminalised homosexuality today. I’m just gonna let that sink in for you. Because it’s still sinking in for me.
Why is this such a big deal, you ask?
The court has struck a sharp blow to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Enforced in 1861, it prohibits any sexual act ‘against the order of nature’ (i.e., pretty much everything except procreative peno-vaginal sex). With its roots in Victorian England’s morals and values, Section 377 was meant to outlaw sodomy, and quickly became a tool for persecuting individuals who experience and express same-sex attraction.
The 157-year-old law is outdated and outrageous. It punishes consensual sex between adults, a law hinging on the invasion of privacy, a law that allows society to paint lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, intersex, asexual, non-binary people as dangerous, immoral, and corrupt.
Because of this law, LGBTQ Indians have been forced to stay in the closet or face persecution, sometimes from their own families, peer groups, workplaces, and society at large. Because of this law, LGBTQ Indians have not been able to access good health care, employment, and even housing! It’s a law that has no business being in our democracy, and today’s Supreme Court judgement has made that very clear.
17 years in the making, the judgement is an outcome of a battle that began in 2001, when the Naz Foundation first filed its petition to read down Section 377. A massive win, but what now? What battles lie ahead?
So here’s a question for you, our YKA community, a community that has raised its voice countless times in support of equal rights for: What does this judgement mean for India in the long run?
Share your thoughts on Youth Ki Awaaz and let the world know.