‘It’s Independence Day!’: Petitioners React to SC’s 377 Judgment

Petitioners & lawyers who fought Sec 377 including Keshav Suri & Menaka Guruswamy, on what the ruling means to them

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Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday, 6 September, read down Section 377 of the IPC to exclude consensual same-sex acts. The decision is a major victory for the LGBTQ+ community, who have faced significant stigmatisation and discrimination in the country, with Section 377 often used to threaten and exploit them.

The Quint caught up with some of the people who challenged the 157-year-old provision in the courts, including Anjali Gopalan, founder and executive director of the Naz Foundation (which filed the first legal challenge to Section 377 in the Delhi High Court that ultimately resulted in this judgment) and Keshav Suri (who filed one of the challenges in the Supreme Court against the regressive Koushal judgment of 2013). We asked them what this decision meant to them, and what their message to the LGBTQ+ community was.

Suri was all smiles as he stood with author Devdutt Pattanaik on the steps of the apex court. “Today is Independence Day,” he said with a smile. “I would just say that this is just the beginning of a rainbow Indian future.”

We also spoke to some of the lawyers who have fought to make this happen, including Menaka Guruswamy, one of the eminent lawyers who argued the case before the five-judge bench. “It’s a really big win for the Constitution today,” she said, hailing the decision.

“It’s a big step for younger LGBT Indians wherever you are, small towns, villages, big towns, metropolises or here in the Supreme Court, that you are not alone. That is the powerful message of this judgment: your court stands with you, your constitution stands with you and your country stands with you.”
Menaka Guruswamy, advocate

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