LGBT activists protest against Supreme court’s judgement on section 377, at Jantar mantar in New Delhi on Dec 15th 2013. Express photo by Ravi Kanojia.
The Supreme Court on Thursday resumed hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises homosexuality. The Centre on Tuesday said it would not contest the petitions and left the decision to the “wisdom” of the court.
In an affidavit filed in court, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated: “I state and submit that so far as the constitutional validity (of) Section 377 to the extent it applies to ‘consensual acts of adults in private’ is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court.”
In the last two days of the hearing, the petitioners have argued that 377 — intercourse against the order of nature — is an outcome of Victorian morality and should be struck down as values change along with society. The court is only hearing the issue of gay sex and not that of marriage in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community or inheritance in live-in relationships. Read highlights from the first two days of the hearing here.