Supreme Court refuses to review section 377, LGBT groups protest in Delhi

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Members of gay community and human rights activists condemn the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the review of Section 377 and call it a set back to the fundamental rights of all Indians

By Team FI

Members of the LGBT community along with women’s and human rights groups protested in Delhi yesterday against the Supreme Court’s decision to refuse to review its earlier verdict on gay sex.

In December last year, the Supreme Court of India had passed a controversial order re-criminalizing gay sex in the country. Following this, a review petition was filed by eight parties including the Union of India, parents of LGBTQ persons, Voices Against 377, teachers, mental health professionals, veteran film maker Shyam Benegal and the Naz Foundation. The apex court dismissed the petition seeking a review of section 377 on Tuesday.

According to the press note issued by the LGBT group, the court’s decision represents an abdication by the judiciary to protect the spirit of the constitution. “The court disregarded arguments made by the parties, did not consider key findings of the Delhi High Court judgment, and was seemingly blind to the voluminous material on record that incontrovertibly established rape, torture, discrimination, and harassment of LGBTQ persons as a direct and inevitable consequence of Section 377”.

There is nothing ‘miniscule’ about the concerns of the LGBTQ community and that the fight against discrimination is everyone’s fight

Calling the SC decision a temporary reversal, the press release said that the LGBTQ community is not disheartened. “Regardless of the decision of the Court, our activism asserting the right to live without fear and discrimination, and indeed to live with pride, will remain undimmed. If anything, we are strengthened and heartened by the wide range of support we have seen and felt. The media, mainstream political parties, ordinary persons, families of LGBTQ persons, mental health professionals, teachers, academics, artists have all stood with us in favour of the constitutional guarantee of dignity to the LGBTQ community.”

The press note stated that community intends pursue all legal options, including curative petitions, “There is No Going Back’. Regardless of the Court’s ruling, we walk with pride. As the Delhi High Court judgment reminded us, our rights are inalienably ours – they Court did not confer them on us, it cannot take them away” states the press release.

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