LGBT Case: Supreme Court to Review Constitutional Validity of Section 377


The Apex Court also issued a notice to the Center's response on a writ petition filed by five members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, who said they live in fear of police due to their natural sexual orientation and preferences.

The 2016 law was passed in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court's landmark 2015 ruling legalising same-sex marriage nationwide.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court overturned a high court verdict that had set aside a law framed in 1860 and decriminalized consensual sex among adult homosexual men.

Some religious conservatives are celebrating the Supreme Court's decision regarding the law, which was strongly supported by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. In 2014, the Supreme Court refused to review the decision while hearing multiple pleas on the matter.

Section 377 of IPC, came into force in 1862 - defines unnatural offences.

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Three judges including Chief Justice Dipak Misra said a larger group of justices would reconsider the law following a petition filed by five people who say they are living in fear of being prosecuted. It was also on the side of respecting the freedom of individuals to their sexual orientation. This also has implications for heterosexuals, as consensual sexual acts of adults - oral and anal sex in private - are now treated as unnatural and punishable under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

"This latest punt on LGBTQ rights by the nation's highest court promotes state-stationed discrimination by upholding a law that allows hotels, ER doctors, business owners, and even pediatricians to legally deny services to hardworking LGBTQ families in MS", said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. Shortly afterwards, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed and held that the Barber plaintiffs lacked standing because they could not claim a specific harm caused by the law which had yet to take effect. But, with the apex court deciding to revisit its decision on Monday, there is a renewed hope among the members of the LGBT community.

SC has also issues notice to the Centre seeking response on a writ petition filed by five members of LGBT community, who say they live in fear of Police due to their natural sexual preferences, according to new agency ANI.

All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev also welcomed the top court's decision saying,"Everybody has equal right to live life the way they want". The court said that the matter would need to be considered by a larger bench.

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