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LGBT community celebrates five years of Delhi court's historic judgement

Thursday, 3 July 2014 - 12:33pm IST | Agency: ANI

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community came together to celebrate the historic 2009 Delhi High Court judgement where it de-criminalised gay sex.

On July 02, 2009, the Delhi High Court overturned the colonial-era law of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), that described homosexual love-making as carnal intercourse against the order of nature, calling it a violation of an individual's rights to freedom under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution in cases dealing with gay sex, provided it is by consent of both individuals.

However, the Supreme Court on December 11, 2013, reinstated the ban on gay sex in the world's largest democracy, following the four-year period of decriminalisation that had helped bring homosexuality into open in the socially conservative country. "On July 02, 2009, the High Court under Article 377 had given a judgement and said that people have the right to live their life as they wish to. If they are adults and they want to have relationship with one another, they have the freedom to do so. This freedom was taken away from us by the Supreme Court judgement of 2013. So today we have gathered to celebrate the High Court judgement of 2009 and the High Court is standing with our community," said an activist, Manak Batyari.

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Section 377 IPC banned 'sex against the order of nature', and is widely interpreted to mean homosexual sex in India and the person committing the Act can be punished with up to 10 years in jail. The rule dates back to the days of British colonial rule in India. "We want to re-live the time when the judgement was given on 2nd July in which gay sex was de-criminalised. This is also a protest saying we are against the Supreme Court judgement, and there is also hope that something good will happen in our country," said a member of Delhi Pride Committee, Rituparna.

Gays continue to face a social stigma in India, where hugging and kissing in public even among heterosexual couples is strongly frowned upon. "To recognise the High Court judgement of July 02 and to say that LGBT community that is out of the closet and is not going to go back. The government and the Supreme Court should understand that individual freedom is a constitutional right and they should adhere to it," said Vimal, a member of National Alliance of People's Movements.

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