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India government moves apex court to decriminalize gay sex

Delhi Gay Parade
Delhi Gay Parade

Weeks after India’s Supreme Court criminalized gay sex under Section 377 and asked the Parliament to review the existing law for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Community; Indian government filed a review petition in the apex court to review its verdict.
The SC verdict created a furor among Indians across the world and cheered up conservative section which were happy to marginalize LGBT community. While almost all the health organizations, human and gay rights activists came all out against the verdict calling it regressive, archaic and biased towards a minority community.
The voice of the non-government representatives found support from political entities as well. India’s major national party Congress slammed the verdict and expressed resolve to overturn it by making necessary amendments in the existing law. Although there are still political forces who welcomed court decision, citing gay sex anti-religious and unnatural (as it does not lead to reproduction), which was more of an effort to garner votes among people who consider gay sex as taboo and against their religious views.
The main worry that arose post SC decision was not only ostracization of the LGBT community, but also the harassment that they have to deal with from police personnel and anti-social elements. Besides the rapid rate of HIV positive cases among LGHBT community may also go unnoticed as the verdict would make the sexual act and any relationship illegal and criminal forcing people hesitant to approach health official.
A health organization has also filed a review petition in the Supreme Court to re look its decision based on existing Section 377 which was enacted in 19th century. Both the petitions are pending for hearing in the Supreme Court and has raised hopes among deprived LGBT community and prompted them to come out of their hiding by raising the issues they face in their day to day lives. India’s young generation has reacted progressively at the verdict and joined gay pride parade in Delhi to oppose the decision and demanding the government to review the particular in question. As for the next generation the choice of one’s life partner has nothing to do with caste, colour, creed and gender!
-Abhishek Bhardwaj

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