RSS not happy Section 377 verdict: Gay sex not a crime but is unnatural

RSS not happy Section 377 verdict: Gay sex not a crime but is unnatural

Courtesy : Agencies09/09/2018 13:36

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has said that it agrees with the Supreme Court's verdict that gay sex is not a crime. However, it said it considers same-sex relations to be unnatural.

"Like the Supreme Court, we too are of the view that this (sex between members of same gender) is not a crime," said Arun Kumar, Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, RSS.

The Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex today, setting down a milestone in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community's long struggle for equality.

The five-judge bench's verdict was unanimous, and was expressed in four concurring judgments. The first of these judgments, that of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, said consensual sex between adults of the same gender doesn't fall foul of Section 377 of Indian Penal code.

Section 377 criminalises "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal". The Supreme Court said aspects of Section 377 dealing with unnatural sex with animals and children would remain in force, the Press Trust of India reported.

Justice Indu Malhotra said history owed an apology to LGBT people for the ostracisation and discrimination they've faced. Justice DY Chandrachud said the treatment of homosexuality as a disorder has a several impact on the mental health of gay people.

 The court said a person's sexual orientation was natural, and that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was a violation of the freedom of expression.

It said the primary objective of having a constitutional society was to transform society progressively, and that constitutional provisions shouldn't be interpreted in a literal sense.

Chief Justice Misra and Justice Khanwilkar said same-sex relations between two adults aren't harmful for children.

Petitions seeking that Section 377 be scrapped were filed by 32 individuals, including celebrities such as Navtej Singh Johar, a dancer, and Ritu Dalmia, a television personality, chef and restaurateur.

Modelled on a 16th century English law, Section 377 was read down by the Delhi High Court in 2009; the judgment decriminalised homosexual acts between two consenting adults. But in 2012, the Supreme Court called the decision "legally unsustainable" and overturned it. A review petition was rejected in 2015.

 Two key judicial landmarks occurred in the following years -- the Supreme Court's decision in the National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) case in 2014 and the 2017 judgment declaring privacy to be a fundamental right. The Naz Foundation, an NGO which first entered in the legal battle against Section 377 in 2001, filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court after the NALSA verdict.

Today, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said society's "heterogeneous fibre" must be maintained. "I am what I am," he wrote, quoting Goethe. "So take me as I am."He also quoted Schopenhauer: "No one can escape from their individuality."

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