Supreme Court’s Decision to Review LGBTQ Rights : A Decision Long Overdue
LGBTQ Rights In India
It is a common fact that Ancient India was one of the most sexually liberated societies in history. Ironically, today, India is one of the most sexually repressive countries in the world. Society tends to view sexual activity as a wrongdoing, a dirty act, and it is taboo to even talk about. In 2013, the Supreme Court of India criminalized homosexuality under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code; this was a huge blow to the LGBTQ community in India and sent the message of intolerance to members of the LGBTQ community across the globe. No one can even imagine the pain of waking up in the morning and being deemed as a criminal just for being who they are. Since this ruling, LGBTQ supporters have been tirelessly working to get section 377 scrapped, and on Monday, January 8th, the Supreme Court decided to revisit its ruling on section 377; this is a decision in the right direction and one that is long overdue.
What Is Section 377?
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was introduced by the British during the colonial era and its intent is to criminalize all homosexual activity. Section 377 was introduced in more than 40 British colonies and countries, and recently, Australia and New Zealand have decided to overrule it. It was quite shocking when the Supreme Court decided to uphold this archaic and regressive law. Due to the ignorant attitudes of many citizens and their harsh treatment of LGBTQ members, India is one of the worst countries for the LGBTQ community.
The Struggle Waged By The LGBT Community
The LGBTQ community has been protesting for a very long time to overturn this dehumanizing law. One of their initial victories was the recognition of a third gender in India in 2016 when the Transgender Person’s Bill was passed. In a society where citizens tend to turn a blind-eye to even the existence of the LGBTQ community, various protests, which have garnered a lot of media attention, have certainly increased the awareness about the problems faced by LGBTQ members.
Possible Effects If The Section Is Scrapped
The scrapping of the section may not grant the LGBTQ community immediate social acceptance, but it is still certainly an important victory for the LGBTQ movement as it legally acknowledges the nature and existence of various sexualities. The discrimination will certainly not immediately end and there certainly is a need to sensitise the society about the issues the LGBTQ community faces both within our society and internationally. Overall, the supreme court’s decision to revisit the ruling on section 377 sends the message that social change is attainable and the decision provides LGBTQ members with a sense of hope as they have overcome an obstacle in the right direction to equality.
The Future Of The LGBTQ Community
The recognition of LGBTQ rights by the Supreme Court is an extremely significant victory. It will definitely make the long,winding road towards the complete acceptance of the LGBTQ community in the Indian society a little bit easier. We need to educate our older generations about the LGBTQ community, along with the youngest members of today’s society. We need to ensure that they understand that not all people are straight and that’s totally okay. We need to send the message to society that in order to thrive together as one, we must look past the differences and realize that we are all human beings first.