In a landmark judgment today, Supreme Court of India strikes down the colonial-era law allowing love to exist beyond the strict gender rules in the society. Decriminalizing gay sex in this landmark ruling, the top court of India gave its citizen an occasion to celebrate as the nation gets rid of the homophobic tag.
The five-judge bench was headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, along with Justice Fali Nariman, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Khanwilkar.
“Majoritarian views and popular views cannot dictate constitutional rights. 377 is arbitrary,” Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said:
The lawyer representing the LGBTQ community, Menaka Guruswamy said:
Justice Indu Malhotra said:
In 2001, the issue of Section 377 was first raised by an NGO, Naaz Foundation, and AIDS Bedhbhav Virodh Andolan, in the Delhi high court.
The court began pronouncing its judgment around 11:35 am today (Sept. 06) and Dipak Misra started reading out the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar with a quote from German Thinker Schopenhauer: “I am who I am, and I cannot be anyone else.”
The verdict will finally allow people from LGBTQ community in India to feel safe in their own country, exercise the right of freedom of expression in the true sense and will help them shed their skin of fear and shame, and embrace themselves for who they are.
While Twitter is trending with #section377, #377scrapped, #LGBT, here is how people across the social media are celebrating the moment of PRIDE.
Can I please be friends with the judges on the 377 bench? Such beautifully worded opinions. Chief Justice of India reads from the judgements “Take me as I am” “Look for the rainbows in the clouds” “Denial of self expression is like death”
— Shilpa Rathnam (@shilparathnam) September 6, 2018
i KNOW this isn’t magically gonna solve homophobia but hoping it at least normalises conversations enough for me to be able to come out to my parents…. eventually
— 🌈 gay rights!!!! (@lesqueerables) September 6, 2018
Reacting to the Section 377 verdict, UN calls it the “first step to full fundamental rights”.
UN in India welcomes judgment on #Section377 ; hopes it will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons
https://t.co/J7LTw8wMEJ @UNHumanRights @OHCHRAsia @UNinIndia
— Rineeta Naik (@rineetanaik) September 6, 2018
Political leaders and celebrities have also shared congratulatory messages:
So pleased to learn that the SupremeCourt has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377& on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity &constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 6, 2018
Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back! 👍👍👍💪💪💪🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/ZOXwKmKDp5
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) September 6, 2018
Congratulations to all the activists and petitioners on #SupremeCourt judgement scrapping #Section377 Your perseverance just made #India a freer place for everyone ! #LoveIsLove #Pride #377Verdict #377Scrapped Three cheers for the #SupremeCourt pic.twitter.com/grA64TTB3w
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) September 6, 2018
— Durex India (@DurexIndia) September 6, 2018
Hotel staff of Delhi’s The Lalit Hotel marked the Supreme Court’s iconic Verdict with a stunning dance tribute. Keshav Suri, the executive director of the Lalit Group of hotels, is also a prominent LGBT activist.
#WATCH Celebrations at Delhi’s The Lalit hotel after Supreme Court legalises homosexuality. Keshav Suri, the executive director of Lalit Group of hotels is a prominent LGBT activist. pic.twitter.com/yCa04FexFE
— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018