Disha Mazumdar talks about LGBT Rights and Section 377 IPC.
The words by Martin Luther King Jr. create a major impact on our legal system.
India a country of diverse culture , different religion and their unique languages ,were equality before law is supreme, the rights of the LGBT(Lesbians,Gays,Bisexuals,Transgender ) community is buried somewhere . There is a cold, dark silence which prevents the nation to speak openly about the rights of this minuscule fraction of the society . Whether it is same sex marriage or sexual intercourse between two consulting adults, people of this community had always faced discrimination.
LGBT: A Deeper Look
An initial that stands for lesbian gay bisexual and transgender , the people whose sexual orientation is different from us. It is often confused that LGBT is a choice, but in reality is a natural phenomenon created by God himself. Due to their sexual orientation they are puppets to injustice, discrimination and public disgust. There is no equal access to healthcare, they are more prone to HIV Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases. Government doesn’t provide proper health care facilities which make them more vulnerable as sexual intercourse between same sex is criminalised under section 377 in Indian Penal Code. It is argued that it is against the moral values and ethics of the society .They often end up being confused, frustrated or socially ignored in schools and colleges. Lack of education or employment policies make them helpless. Marriage among the same sex is considered completely wrong as these people can’t bear children after marriage, but there is a possibility that a heterosexual couple after marriage can’t reproduce but they are not stopped from getting married. Marriage is also a legal joining of two individuals , every human being has a right to choose what they want and if they want to marry somebody of same sex , society has no right to interfere or criticize their choices.
The basic human rights of the people of LGBT community has always been a topic of major debate in our country , where one half believes it to be morally degrading and polluting the other half feels shy and afraid to even speak about it. As a result the rights of these people are never taken seriously and there is a serious injustice done by our legal system.
Section 377 of Indian Penal Code defines unnatural offences and states that it is against the order of nature to have carnal intercourse with any man, women or animal even when consent is freely given. The consent is totally irrelevant and the party giving the consent would be liable as an abettor. The landmark judgment in the case of Naz foundation vs Govt. Of NCT of Delhi, the divisional bench de criminalised the sexual intercourse between two consenting adults. It was argued that section 377 was violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. No right is absolute but article 21 can be put under reasonable restriction only if it hampers the state interest, but in this case no state interest was hampered .There was also discrimination on the bases on sexual identity and sexual orientation which infringes the fundamental right under article 14 and 15. But this landmark judgment was overruled by the Supreme Court in the case Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation were it was held that section 377 is not a violation to any fundamental right guaranteed under the constitution and there was no amendment made in this section from the very beginning hence it is legally justified although parliament can make any further interpretation. Mr Shashi Tharoor tried to introduce the bill for decriminalisation of section 377 in the Lok Sabha twice but failed .The Supreme Court also pointed out that de criminalisation of this section would lead to increase the number of people suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Same sex marriages are not legalized in India and neither these people are granted certain rights under civil union. LGBT is considered to be a social taboo. People don’t openly admit about their feelings and if by chance they do it they are harassed and tortured by the society. The government takes no initiative to make the laws more liberal for these people.
LGBT: Not a Stigma
Lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender are human beings just like us and they have the right to be treated equally without any discrimination.
The government should make policies to support them in workplace, schools and colleges to provide them free and compulsory education to support them.
There should be no protest for same sex marriages as these people are the one who can adopt in future even if they can’t reproduce, and with the growing population I hardly believe its mandatory to reproduce. This should also be provided equal rights in civil partnership.
Section 377 of IPC should be amended and consensual sexual intercourse between adults should be de criminalised as the punishment for it is too harsh and unjustified, although it should prevail in cases of minor and non consensual intercourse.
There have been many campaigns, protest and rallies to make people understand more about this community and how important are their human rights. Many activist and celebrities support these people and is still trying to fight for their equality but the people neglect speaking about them. Society is not static, it changes with the time and circumstances. Hence it is our duty to change our perception toward these people cause they are not a stigma to our society.