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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:

LGBTQ Rights Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud

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.

 

Reacting to the Section 377 verdict, UN calls it the “first step to full fundamental rights”.

 Political leaders and celebrities have also shared congratulatory messages:

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.

Let the winds of change blow, far and wide…