NEW DELHI — Justice Rohinton Nariman on Thursday called on the government to widely publicise the Supreme Court’s historic verdict reading down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The decision legalises gay sex in India after a decades-long struggle by the LGBT community.
Justice Nariman noted that the archaic law had served as the basis of discrimination and called on the government to sensitise organs of the state — particularly the police.
“It will be very good if that happens,” said activist Gautam Bhan, who is part of a coalition that filed a petition against Section 377 in 2004.
READ: Section 377 Verdict: Why Gay Rights Activist Gautam Bhan Spent 14 Years Fighting This Legal Battle
While the five-judge bench was in agreement that Section 377 had to be read down, four judges delivered judgements of their own.
Justice Chandrachud observed that decriminalisation was the first step towards non-discrimination, taking the example of how mental health practice in the country must change.
In India thus far, homosexuality has often been wrongly labelled a mental disease with the members of the LGBTQ community being taken to psychiatrists for “treatment” by their families.
READ: Section 377 Verdict: The Supreme Court Finally Heeds India’s LGBT Community’s Long Struggle