Once criminality of Section 377 is removed, stigma against gay sex will go: SC

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New Delhi,JUL 12:
The Supreme Court on Thursday orally observed that stigma attached to ‘gay sex’ will be removed once the ‘criminality attached to Section 377 IPC goes” and two consenting individuals can be intimate, take up a job as there cannot be any prohibition.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra heading a five-judge Constitution Bench made this observation during the course of hearing a batch of petitions seeking to declare Section 377 IPC, which criminalises gay acts between two consenting adults, as unconstitutional.
Justices Rohinton Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra are the other judges on the Bench.
Thursday was the third day of hearing on the issue of striking down the 150-year-old colonial law on the ground of discrimination. A nine-judge bench of the apex court had already held that ‘right to privacy’ as a fundamental right and the petitioners are seeking to extend this right to gay acts also.The CJI observed, “The LGBT community feels the stigma because of the criminality attached to gay sex and once it is removed, homosexuals can get together without any prohibition. The stigma is so because they are treated differently. Once decriminalisation is there they will feel empowered.”CJI Dipak Misra also quashed the mental stigma attached to homosexuality and cleared that even psychiatrists have established that it is not a mental illness.The top court said it is not concerned with bestiality, incest or related issues but only with the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC as far as it concerns sexual orientation of LGBT community members.Justice Malhotra observed that the family pressure forces gay persons to get married and that could have been the reason for them to become bi-sexual. Because of criminality attached to same-sex relationships, it had various other ramifications, she said.Justice Malhotra said, “Rig Veda mentions about “Prakriti” (perversity) and “Vikriti” (diversity) existed together in nature and there are hundreds of species which indulge in same-sex intercourse. This community feels fear in going to get medical aid. Even doctors discriminate. There are inhibitions and prejudices even in the medical fraternity. This is a serious violation.”
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta intervened and said Prakriti and Vikriti’s co-existence, as referred to in Hindu philosophical texts, are related to philosophical and spiritual spheres and must not be dragged to link it .

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