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Celebrities Rally for Gay Rights, Move SC Against Section 377

Petition signed by Dancer NS Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia and few others will be heard on 29 June

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Participants took part in a gay pride march in New Delhi, June 28, 2009. (Photo: Reuters)

Dancer NS Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur are some prominent supporters of gay rights who have signed a petition for moving the Supreme Court against Section 377. The petition will be heard by the Court on 29 June, reported The Times of India.

This petition is the first of its kind, according to the report, because for the first time, homosexuals who are directly affected by this section have come forward in protest. The first paragraph of the petition reads as follows:

The petitioners are lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT) citizens of India whose rights to sexuality, sexual autonomy, choice of sexual partner, life, privacy, dignity and equality, along with the other fundamental rights guaranteed under Part-III of Constitution, are violated by Section 377.
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The Supreme Court had earlier rejected two petitions, one initiated by the Naz Foundation, and another by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, against Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality.

Naz Foundation’s curative petition has been admitted and referred to a 5-judge bench by the SC.

Our lives have been inexorably constricted and our rights infringed by Section 377. Despite our achievements and contributions to India in various fields, we are being denied the right to sexuality, the most basic and inherent of fundamental rights. Section 377 renders us criminals in our own country. Section 377 criminalises the very existence of LGBT people by criminalising their sexuality, an attribute which is as inherent and intrinsic to a person as their race or gender. Sexuality lies at the core of a human being’s persona. Sexual expression, in whatever form, between consenting adults in the privacy of a home ought to receive protection of fundamental rights.
Petitioners in their plea

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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