Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums LGBTQ Issues & Rights Decriminalization of Section 377 IPC

9 replies, 9 voices Last updated by DISHA SAPKALE 2 years, 6 months ago
  • Woospire
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    The position of queer women in India and the struggle associated with them. Has decriminalization of section 377 IPC has really helped them? What social perception still needs to be changed?

    Tanima
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    @ta
    #31189
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    When we start to talk about decriminalization of section 377,lets know what is about it all.
    So, basically 377 is a section, included in Indian Penal Code, which forbids any unnatural sex like ‘animal sex, early age sex, nonconsensual sex with recently included anal and oral sex’. Homosexuality which defines the sexual relationship with in same sex, was also included in this list. On 6th September, 2018 the Supreme Court of India ruled that the application of Section 377 to consensual homosexual sex between adults was unconstitutional, “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”. Thus we get our decriminalization of 377,though it should be notified that it remains same for the others on the list.
    Ok now, the question is does it help our quere women or not?
    There’s still issues like forced marriages, corrective rapes, conversion therapy, honor killings, etc. which still affect the lives of queer individuals and women are one of the worst sufferers of these crimes. We can see, if homosexual people met with rape or sexual assault, they get afraid to even complain about it, as they fear of exposing their sexuality. As, despite of declaration of supreme Court, our society has it’s own contradictions. For a girl, society has different standard from the beginning.
    In a society that constantly asks women to be ashamed of their sexuality and bodies, fighting for the very right to love or to exist is hard. Lesbians in villages are often harassed, ostracized and even chased out. Lesbians in cities face discrimination and harassment. Trans women fear their safety and struggle with means of survival, Bisexual and Pansexual women face either getting fetishized or total erasure and Asexual women face denial.
    Among our society, there is many of us who are slightly different from most of us. And it is not a mistake at all.
    Homosexuality is not a choice to be decided, it’s a biological phenomenal which is ‘natural and inherent’
    By applying art. 377 on homosexuality, means by punishing their sexual orientation, we’re raising individual’s identity to the pedestal of divinity. And by destroying it , their dignity is crushed, we’re tormenting their privacy, choice, freedom of speech, freedom of work and so on.
    In some countries, this homosexuality is recognized as such a sin that they are punished by sacrificing them from high building to make other people aware about their crime.
    Though India gave verdict, only a few part of our society didn’t change their mentality on a ‘husband-wife ‘ relationship on sexual orientation.

    Apoorva Pathak
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    @apoorva
    #31648
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    September 20, 2018, there was landmarked verdict the supreme court decriminalized section 377 of
    IPC. It was not only raised its constitutional morality but also allowed the LGBTQ community the right to love. Section 377 of IPC states if anyone having carnal intercourse which is an unnatural offense against the order of nature with anyone which includes any man, woman, and the animal will be liable to be punished together with imprisonment for a lifetime or shall have to pay a fine with 10-year imprisonment. But now it is decriminalized.
    But still today people say that this section will only lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. It will pollute the culture of society.
    In the family, if any girl child found to be attracted to same-sex or she behaves unusual elder women tries to subduct her emotion and about her real identity and if she does not agree to it they make her marriage to the opposite sex without her consent these incidences usually lead to suicide, domestic outbreaks of violence, marital rape, and many more evil practices.
    They are considered a burden and disgrace on family, religion, and society and are usually discriminated against. We have often seen in many movies and web series this situation of LGBTQ group women.
    After so long fight this section has been struck down. Although there many in the opposition and many in support. Sometimes these queer women are thrown out of their parent’s homes and when they try to search for jobs and houses to live in they are ill-treated, judged, and often harassed.
    Earlier these people were not able to own up to their sexuality because of the fear of law and even If they are AIDS/HIV positive they do not claim it because of the fear of questions asked from the people to them. But hopefully, this will now not allow anyone to feel so as it is unconstitutional and obstruct many rights such as article 14, article 15, and article 21.
    But even after this, the mentality of people is not changed because which many other heinous crimes are taking place in society against queer women.

    Anika
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    @anika
    #31662
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    The Decriminalization of Section 377 was historic. India had previously criminalized sex between two people of the same gender, but now it’s not counted in Section 377. Although it was very historic and many queer people gained more confidence, there was one thing which didn’t change: The heteronormative attitudes of the people of India. India still hasn’t legalised gay marriage so this comes as a blow for queer people.
    There are lots of support for gay men but no so much for gay women or transgender and non binary people. They face many struggles especially in our country for being queer.
    Firstly, they get told by the people around them that their attraction towards people of the same sex is just a phase. They also get told that they’re not queer because they are attracted to both genders. Women are queer if they have are attracted to the same sex. They are not any less if they’re part of the lgbtq+ community.
    They are also not given any support by their parents. It is rare to see an Indian parent who is pro lgbtq+. They often get insulted and scolded, thinking that this something unnatural and that it’s an evil thought. They are disowned and they often have nowhere to go. Some families even partake in corrective rapes and honor killings because they cannot handle the fact that they have a queer child.
    I found a quote from Parmesh Shahani, the head of Godrej India Culture Lab which I think should be followed by all parents:
    “You are not doing your child a favour by accepting her or him. You are just fulfilling your responsibility. By accepting your child you are also helping create a better society that values diversity and accepts the uniqueness of people as they are.”
    Queer woman themselves go through many struggles: they do not think they’re normal and the disapproval from family and friends contributes to mental health issues. Many people think that queer people are less in number but that is a wrong assumption. Many haven’t been true to others and are still struggling.
    I hope that one day, we can live in a society where heteronormativity isn’t the default. What we can do as allies is to listen and be there for them, and not speak over them because you think something they said is wrong.

    Yash Tiwari
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    @yash
    #31764
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    The Indian Penal Code (IPC), an act of legislation drafted by the British in the mid-nineteenth century, can certainly pose various limitations on the LGBTQ+ community with its immoral and sexually explicit nature of Section 377. In this context, the recent judgment of the Supreme Court acquitting part of Section 377 IPC (Indian Penal Code) to be unconstitutional is a historic one: It also marks a giant leap towards the constitutional goal of ‘inclusiveness,’ by recognizing the rights of members of an ostracized minority group. The recently decriminalized Sec377 of IPC is very crucial for the LGBTQ community because it had the potential to give rise to a new generation of rights and regulations. The judgment of the apex court de-criminalizing the consensual private sex between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender has got mixed reactions from various sections in society.

    The struggle for securing the right to marriage is not just a struggle for ‘Equality’ as is perceived by the LGBTQ+ community, but it is an opportunity to remove one of the largest hurdles that lay in the path of gender equality. Homosexuality is now legal in India, but still, same-sex marriages are often viewed as unnatural behavior, due to which LGBTQ+ couples are often ridiculed and suffer from mental abuse. The motive behind legalizing same-sex marriages is not to screen out love between the couple. The question of 377 is greater than just decriminalizing homosexuality and the lives of LGBT people in India. It is about going into the basics of how a particular community leads their life in a nation. The issue goes to the very root cause of discrimination and prejudice that exist in our society. This is what we have to fight out with, not just like Section 377, but fighting for the basic rights of all minorities and sexualities on this planet.

    The idea of decriminalizing Section 377 IPC is because of the fundamental attribution error, in which the nature of homosexuality can be changed by educating people about it. Moreover, from a utilitarian perspective, homosexuals are a minority who usually suffers from mental disorders and suicide rates are higher if they are not allowed to form relationships. Therefore, the legalization of homosexual relationships will be helpful for society as well.

    Manpreet Singh
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    @manpreet
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    With the passing of the landmark judgment Navtej Johar vs Union of India in the year 2018, a landmark change happened in the Indian society when an archaic provision of section 377 of the Indian penal Code, which criminalized same-sex as unnatural, was decriminalized by the law books. The law may appear to be facially neutral, as it appears to criminalize certain sexual acts, irrespective of the perpetrator, but past judgments have betrayed disapproval for specific communities, particularly those who identify as lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, intersex, queer, or any other non-normative sexual identity. The judicial expansion of the scope of the provision and an increasing inclination towards criminalization of the ‘unnatural’ which targeted specific communities led to the emergence of a counter-movement. This movement championed the cause of the LGBTIQ+ community, through publications, activism, marches, discursive accounts from the community, legal literature, as well as legal and political reform.
    There is unanimity that the Navtej decision is historical, but quite importantly, several strides have been made by this decision for the possibility of advocating for further rights of marginalized sexual identities. Provisions criminalizing sexual intercourse ‘against the order of nature’ occur repeatedly as such in the statutes of seventy-odd countries, of which thirty-eight are erstwhile British colonies. They claimed that the law was intended to reflect public Indian morality which did not recognize the multiplicity of sexualities, alleged to be alien to this sub-continent prior to its colonization. However, the decision in Navtej judicially recognizes the truth in the Indian historicization of queer people, particularly Justice Chandrachud’s judgment, and further moves towards constitutional morality.
    However, despite the passing of the landmark judgment, the marginalized community still has not achieved the kind of equality and acceptance that was being demanded in the first place. They continue to be seen as some kind of out-of-this-world creatures and become a part of ridicule. The judgment ordered the government to publish the judgment as much as possible but nothing concrete has been done in that regard. The community continued to be harassed. For a revolutionary change, we have to educate our society about this new concept and teach them that morality cannot be always gauged on past facts. It changes with time.

    Shubhangini Shaktawat
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    Decriminalization of Section 377 IPC
    Section 377 IPC stated that any sort of ‘unnatural’ intercourse or intercourse with any man, woman, transgender or animal against the ‘law of nature’ would be legally offensive and a punishable crime, with a term that could extend up to 10 years and fine. On 6th September, 2018, this Section 377 was decriminalized and restored by the bench, stating that using the section of the IPC to victimize, assault or ostracize homosexuals was unconstitutional, hence a criminal act. Post this, consensual sexual activity between all genders was legalized. This was no doubt, a very big step towards achieving gender equality, justice and freeing the society of discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. Yet, India seems to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to acceptance and respect towards homosexuals, transgenders, etc. As they all ask, “What part of love don’t you understand?” Women all over India are already suffering from a lot of social issues in terms of respect, equality, justice, strata, position, etc. On top of that, if the woman concerned is a queer woman, life is even more miserable. Being a queer woman is a tough job in India; families would refuse to accept them, society would sideline them, they would remain to be discriminated against at every step no matter how much we say we have developed, they would always lack education and lose employment opportunities, they would never be respected for who they are and they would always be oppressed as their rights never mattered to the society. The decriminalization of Section 377 of the IPC has not turned out to be of great help to them. It was just the first stepping stone towards achieving full rights for them. They are fighting a battle against the entire nation here as the society refuses to accept them and give them the respect and status that they deserve to get. It is not questionable how they struggle even at the glass root level when their families make them undergo conversion therapy to rid them from their ‘disease’ or ‘mental disorder.’ The society needs to change its perception of queer women. It needs to accept them the way they are, without being afraid of the fact that they are ‘unnatural’ or ‘abnormal’ and they deserve to have a place in the society too. Love is love and there is no natural force stronger than it. Hence, they are absolutely natural and normal. We must understand that patriarchy and pro-men beliefs cannot prevail over our minds and the society as they are spoiling thousands of life all over the nation. We cannot afford to lose more lives. We must change and make a difference.
    An ally and supporter,
    Shubhangini Shaktawat

    Semantee Chattopadhyay
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    @semantee03
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    We don’t consider a lot of things as part of Indian culture, for example, Mughal monuments were in jeans trousers and also Chinese food. There is one more thing that we don’t consider as a part of Indian culture and that is homosexuality. On 6th September 2018, section 377 of the Indian Penal code IPC was decriminalised. As per Wikipedia, ” In January 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition to revisit the 2013 Naz Foundation judgment. On 6 September 2018, the Court ruled unanimously in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India that Section 377 was unconstitutional “in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex”.”A key aspect of it was abolished. Section 377 of the Indian penal code is a section of the Indian Penal code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Modelled on the Burgery Act 1533, it criminalised sexual activities against the order of nature. Its application to consensual homosexual sex between adults was found unconstitutional till 2018. It says that if you indulge yourself in any kind of sexual activity which is against the order of nature you can be in present for 10 years. This sounds archaic and regressive. We need to know that these laws were implemented by a country like England in a heterogeneous country like India with minute alterations. The Indian penal court was formed in the year 1853 by the British lawyer Thomas Babington Macaulay. Decriminalisation happened because people started to talk about it and normalise being gay or things alike. It became like a protest and a lot of people took active participation in these kinds of protests. If we see that, LGBTQ community is considered normal in other countries and they are not treated differently but in our India, this community is not been accepted because of which they are facing a lot of problems. Our society needs to accept that people do not have control over their sexual orientation and they need to be open-minded and a lot more accepting about it.

    PALAK KASHIV
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    @palak
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    The decriminalization of section 377 was a very thoughtful step was taken by the Indian judiciary system. Indian penal code that was drafted in the mid-nineteenth century imposes certain restrictions on the LGBTQ community, the section 377 earlier stated that is an unnatural offense it criminalizes says whoever voluntary has carnal intercourse against the order and of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life. (Indian penal code). But historic verdict the supreme court made on 6 September 2018 of decriminalization of section 377 IPC and allow gay sex which is no more a crime in our country and also said sexual orientation is completely natural and people cannot have control over it. It was like LGBTQ go the real independence liberty on that day they no more have to suffer how they feel about their loved one they can legally have sexual intercourse and have a normal life like others do, after that positive change they came out with their gender they don’t have to hide from the society, I think this decision should have taken a year but it is okay and want to we should give equal respect and be a part of their celebration. Nothing more is required than just cooperation from the society, if we can give them that they will be also happy and normalize all this don’t believe or follow traditional social norms. to decriminalize a lot of petitions were signed many community leaders worked to make it possible.

    DISHA SAPKALE
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    @42disha
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    In 1861, There was the british rule of india were section 377 IPC of the indian penal code was introduced, whereas in 1533 the Buggery Act makes the sexual activities illegal. In 2018, on 6 September Supreme Court announced the decriminalization of section 377 IPC through which LGBTQ community will no more called as crime in india. There was many barriers between the decriminalization of section 377 IPC but their were people who had taken stand and support for the rights of LGBTQ community like many petitions were signed to make it possible for LGBTQ community rights and freedom to show their identity freely. There was also criticism and opposition for upholding section 377 from ministry of health and family welfare that it will hamper anti HIV/AIDS attempt. People who are lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender they hide their identity due to society thinking, inequality, discrimination, unfair treatment and it was called as crime but because of the decriminalization of section 377 IPC people who are from LGBTQ community are showing their identity openly and freely without getting fear of society and from stereotypes, discrimination. LGBTQ community also has the pride month celebration which may gives the positive effect towards society and their thinking will may get changed for LGBTQ community. Italian film maker Adele Tulli made a documentary called as 365 without 377 in 2011 which won award in Turin Film Fest. Society need to support the LGBTQ community by being the part of their celebrations and people need to give fair and equal treatment for LGBTQ community like others.

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