September 07, 2018

The Road to equality has never been Straight

Making a toast towards the gay pride, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said “Take me as I am !” Words which seemed a far-fetched wish for the LGBTQ Community. Section 377 introduced in the British rule in India which criminalized sexual activities condemning them to be “against the order of nature”.

In 2017, The Right to privacy triggered the chord to bring this revolution. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation which forms an essential attribute to an individual’s privacy is deeply offensive. It questions an individual’s dignity and self-worth. Sexual Orientation needs to be protected on every possible platform which in way forms a baseline to equality. In a country where right to privacy lies at the core fundamentals of rights, discrimination on sexual orientation seemed unacceptable.

Sexual orientation defines:

  • Ones Right to Life
  • Respecting ones Privacy and Dignity
  • An Essence of Liberty and Freedom

Finally on 6thSeptember 2018, the court ruled unanimously that criminalizing consensual sexual conduct between adults of same sex was unconstitutional and revised its previous verdict. Whom a person shares his private moments with is an individual’s choice completely.

There were a total of 2187 cases registered invoking Section 377 across the country in 2017 according to the NCRB reports. Till July this year there were 126 cases registered. 10% of these cases pertained to sexual intercourse among consenting adults. There have been several instances of extortions too. Decriminalizing would end this fear amongst the community.

No one can now escape from their individuality. There’s no more hiding. Society is now more welcoming of one’s individualism. Justice Indu Malhotra said, ”History owes apology to the LGBT community for their sufferings” during the judgement.  A few organizations who have worked towards this freedom include:

  • The Humsafar Trust Mumbai
  • The NazFoundation (India) Trust- Delhi
  • Gay Bombay- Mumbai
  • Udaan Trust- Maharashtra
  • AHF India- Delhi
  • Harmless Hugs- Delhi
  • Sappho for Equality- Kolkata
  • Lakshaya Trust- Gujarat
  • Orinam- Chennai
  • The Gaysi Family
  • Arranged Gay Marriage- Secunderabad (India)
  • Astitva Trust Mumbai
  • Qgraphy  Mumbai
  • 6Degrees LGBTQ Growth Network

All of this has brought freedom, liberalization of thoughts and security amongst fellow Indians to which I wish to quote below:

I saw a young man and his wife hugging bidding farewell at the airport

I saw two men kissing at a party

I saw an old man and wife holding hands walking by the streets

Two women raising a beautiful child

I came across so many stories

Though

All I beheld was

LOVE! <3

-Madhumita Kulkarni


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