The Supreme Court of United States has delivered one of the world's most iconic judgement in recent times. By legalising gay marriage in all the 50 states of the country, US joins 17 other countries, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay, that have provided legal sanctity to same-sex marriages. The world is celebrating and so is our nation. Equal rights advocates in India are rejoicing. The 'optimists' are expecting that the historic judgement in US is bound to have a favourable impact in our country. But is it really a matter of celebration in a country like India? Before going all ga-ga over US Supreme Court's judgement, here are some very crucial aspects which need to be looked into very seriously. White House is illuminated in rainbow colours after the historic Supreme Court ruling legalising gay marriage | Source: Reuters
The archaic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1860, (introduced during the British rule of India) criminalises sexual activities 'against the order of nature'.
Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
On July 2, 2009, Delhi High Court had declared section 377 as unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults. However, the judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court of India on 12 December 2013, with the Court holding that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary.
So how can one survive in a place where he/she can be arrested and jailed for having a certain sexual orientation?
The verdict by the Supreme Court in 2013 reinstated the outrageous Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex | Source : livemint
The above mentioned Supreme Court's judgement in 2013, which overturned the repealing of Section 377, clearly stated that laws are made and amended in the parliament by the elected representatives of the people. But what has stopped our leaders from debating and discussing the issue? Why has this draconian 'law' not been repealed? There have been always varying reactions over the issue. While many politicians from various prominent political parties have actually came out 'in support' of homosexuality, there are some who have been total hardcore critics. The ambiguous stand of the political class has done nothing concrete so far in this regard.
A file photo of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev | Source : The Hindu