Centre Must Recognise LGBT Community: Madras HC
More than 30 countries have legalised homosexuality. Madras HC asks why India hasn’t decriminalised it yet?
The Centre must consider according the LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders) community special status and recognising them as a separate group for safeguarding their rights, including the right of privacy, the Madras High Court has said. The court order came ahead of the open court February 2 hearing by the Supreme Court of a curative petition of gay activists challenging its verdict criminalising homosexuality in the country.
In his recent orders on two matrimonial discord cases involving a gay in one case and lesbian in the other, Justice N Kirubakaran said lack of statutory protection for LGBT people has started affecting the very social institution of marriage.
When more than 30 countries, including a conservative nation like Ireland, have decriminalised homosexuality and legalised gay marriage by way of referendum, getting 62.07 percent votes in favour, why shouldn’t India decriminalise homosexuality?Justice N Kirubakaran
The Centre, which was directed to file its response by July last year, is yet to file the affidavit.
When the sexual orientation exhibited by a majority of people is accepted by all, why shouldn’t the sexual orientation of a section of people be recognised (statutorily), as they have a different expression of human sexuality, the judge asked.
The judge also sought to know whether the Centre had taken any decision on the deletion of Section 377 of IPC (unnatural offences) from the statute book, as suggested by the Supreme Court in Sureshkumar Koushal vs NAZ Foundation case, or whether it proposed to amend the section by introducing a provision to clarify that nothing contained in the clause should apply to any sexual activity between two consenting adults in private as per the 2009 Delhi High Court judgement.
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