After generations of oppression under a colonial-era law, today the LGBTI community in India celebrated the scrapping of key provisions in Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code, which had previously outlawed consensual same-sex sexual relations.
Following multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court finally recognised that “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love”, and ruled that all people should be free from prejudice and persecution. A historic win for communities that have been pushed into the shadows, Chief Justice Dipak Mishra made it clear that “any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.”
Welcoming this ruling, IPPF Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:
“Today is a historical victory for the LGBTI community in India. No longer will their human right to love, and to show that love, be violated by archaic laws. IPPF hopes that is this the first step of many to ensure that the LGBTI community are guaranteed their full fundamental rights and that social, economical, financial cultural and political inclusion of the LGBTI community becomes woven into the fabric of India’s national identity.
Today's decision will bring new-found hope and energy to those LGBTI communities that are still suffering under repressive laws. I would like to thank the individuals and organizations that have fought tirelessly to make this happen. Without people fighting for change, change cannot happen.”