Political parties welcome SC's decision to reconsider law criminalising homosexuality

SC refers matter seeking validity of Section 497 198 to constitution bench

"The top court's judgment upholding validity of Section 377 appears to hurt the sexual preferences of individuals", said the three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

The law promises that the state government will not punish people who refuse to provide services to people because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage, extramarital sex or transgender people. In 2014, the Supreme Court refused to review the decision while hearing multiple pleas on the matter. Law copes with life and accordingly change takes place. "Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Art 21 of Constitution", the bench observed.

The Congress on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court decision to re-examine its 2013 order that criminalises gay sex saying the archaic provision should be repealed from the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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As many as 26 nations - Australia, Malta, Germany, Finland, Colombia, Ireland, United States, Greenland, Scotland, Luxembourg, England and Wales, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Uruguay, Denmark, Argentina, Portugal, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands - have decriminalised gay sex. "It has the potential to destroy individual choice and sexual orientation", adding that right to privacy means "I have a right to choose my sexual partner".

". We are pleased that the Supreme Court declined to take up these baseless challenges, which misrepresented the law's sole objective of ensuring that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union", stated Theriot. "The court has to examine [the] constitutional validity in considering whether the prohibition imposed on two adults accounts for violation of their freedom at the same time legitimising may amount to encouraging immorality", party MP Majeed Memon said. Underlining the need to bring them into the mainstream, the verdict by a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said transgenders should have all rights under the law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession, and inheritance. "Protection of children in all spheres has to be guided", the CJI said.

Section 377 of IPC - which came into force in 1862 - defines unnatural offences. "Any decision that the Supreme Court takes in sync with the jurisprudential developments on gay rights the world over would be welcome", BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said.

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