Sexual orientation should be a “Freedom of Choice”

With due respect to the Apex Court, but the Supreme Court’s judgment on Section 377 of IPC which inter alia penalises homosexual relations is quite unfortunate and regressive. Section 377 of the Indian constitution is a descendant of an archaic law from the colonial British rule, which described homosexual acts as “unnatural”. It was incorporated into the IPC in 1860. The judgment discloses an intolerant mindset and which is also insensitive to the real problems of those with a different sexual orientation for which they are not to be blamed nor branded.

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community are equal citizens of this country and thus entitled to all the constitutional protections of equality, liberty, privacy, dignity and health. By setting aside the Delhi High Court ruling , the Supreme Court — the supposed protector of fundamental rights of citizens in this country, particularly the marginalized communities — has snatched away from the LGBT community all these fundamental rights.  It more or less brands them as criminals and is grossly unfair.
The right to choose must be left to an individual and cannot be forced upon. As long as it is a consensual relationship between 2 adults, no one has the right to impose their views on them. It defeats the basic principles of equality, freedom and liberty enshrined in the Constitution. Its absurd to believe that relationships must be only between a man and a women. Its a norm laid down by the society in the past. Times have changed, the world has moved on and become more liberal and tolerant to diversity. In these liberalised times, people are increasingly speaking up for the rights of deviants. Even the current Pope who represents the Catholic and who were once terribly opposed to Homosexuality and same sex marriage has openly expressed that its not a sin, which shows changing mindset by religious leaders.  India once again joins the ranks of countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is considered a criminal offence and the penalty is life imprisonment or even death.
Its heartening that this judgement has opened a huge public debate and seen people from all walks of life expressing their disappointment and disagreement to this judgement. The politicians for once are listening to the voice of the public and are talking about taking corrective action through an amendment to the Article 377. It is against the right to life as it includes one’s freedom to choose one’s life partner. It is an inviolable right of an individual to choose his partner for life. One must have a broad outlook to analyse the emerging trends and the transformation that society is going through. Homosexuality is a social reality since mythological times, and it has been accepted worldwide. India cannot pretend not to see the reality….

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