In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court of India, on Thursday, decriminalised consensual sex between adults bringing joy to the India’s LGBT community. Reading out the judgement, Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra said, “Section 377 is irrational and arbitrary. Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of expression.”
Against the backdrop of the judgement, Nation Next, spoke to LGBT activist Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who’s often called the poster boy for LGBT rights in India. Gohil expressed his joy as he said, “This is a historical judgement not just for the LGBT community but for all the citizens of India who were targeted through the law and were denied their fundamental right, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”
Section 377 refers to ‘unnatural offences’ and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
Gohil, who’s is also referred to as India’s first openly gay royal, said that truth has emerged victorious today. He said, “Our fight is based on truthfulness and honesty. Today, truth has won and hypocrisy has lost. A message has gone to the entire world that India values humanity and not hypocrisy.”
Gohil, however, said that with the decrimnalising of the age-old law, the fight has just begun for the LGBT community in India. He said, “The challenge now is to continue the fight to get social acceptance. We have got the legal right, now we have to get our social rights. This is not the end of our fight, it is the beginning.”