The LGBTQ community in India comes with a long history of disenfranchisement and denigration ever since the colonial era from where the archaic section 377 of the Indian Penal code originated. the community experienced a ray of hope with Delhi High Court ruling out the section in 2009 case Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, but that too was taken away in 2013 SC judgement which termed IPC section 377 as constitutional and said that only a negligible minority should not be a reason to think that this law is against the fundamental rights of any person.
What happened then?
With protests all over the country, many LGBTQ communities showed their disgust towards the lack of their rights, until an informal pan-IIT LGBTQ community filed a petition in the Supreme Court to review this law. Another ray of hope came from the Hadiya case where the Supreme Court turned over the annulment of the marriage ordered by the Kerala High Court between Hadiya and her husband, because it felt that the marriage was a sham.
The SC however, ruled that neither the parent nor the state could annul marriages between two consenting adults – and that individuals had the express right to choose their partners.
It is the latter part of the ruling by the apex court on the Hadiya case that gives the petition for review of 377 by the pan-IIT community ‘Pravritti’ a much stronger ground. As of now, the initial statements of the 5 justice apex court bench that is being headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra himself, has shed positive light on the fact that what IPC 377 cites as unnatural, may in fact be in the order of nature.
As progressive Indians await the final verdict for the petition and hope that the apex court finally steers the issue in the right direction, LGBTQ rights gain leverage in conservative nations like Colombia, Jamaica, and Mozambique. Cannot wait to say the same for India as well!