For those of you who have been out of the loop, on Tuesday, the hearing on Section 377 began. Section 377 is the crux for most of the stigma and harassment the LGBTQIA community face. This archaic law has long been held against members of the community and it’s high time things change. While the Supreme Court has ended the proceedings for the day and will pick back up on Tuesday, 17th July, 2018. While we wait anxiously, here are a few highlights.
A little before the hearing began, the Indian Psychiatric Society released a statement that removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. They said that it was a natural phenomenon and not something that could be cured. This was huge news as it finally proved a point that so many members of the community were trying to prove.
On Wednesday The Centre, which previously requested the court for an extension to file their replies on the petitions, said that they would not contest those challenging the validity of Section 377 and left it to the wisdom of the court. The affidavit filed by the Union Home Ministry read;
I state and submit that so far as the constitutional validity (of) Section 377 to the extent it applies to ‘consensual acts of adults in private’ is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court.
Justice Indu Malhotra observed that homosexuality is not an aberration but in fact a variance. She also said that there are other species that indulge in same-sex relations. The point that stood out the most was the fact that members of the LGBTQ+ community do not get proper medical treatment due to inhibitions. Another point brought up was that fact that if Section 377 was decriminalised, it would help reduce or remove the stigma attached to the community.
Another huge news came in the form of the AIMPLB saying that they will not contest any moves to scrap this archaic law and leave it in the hands of the court. In the past, the Muslim law board had opposed the move to scrap the ban in both the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.
So far, it seems to be going pretty well. While it isn’t over yet, we are all hopeful that this time around, things will turn out much better. If you want to keep up with all the updates, we recommend you follow the Instagram handle @nazariyalgbt! They keep posting updates on their stories with what is going on and is really helpful. What are your thoughts on the trail so far? Let us know in the comments below.
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