Now that Supreme Court has decriminalised Section 377, the LGBTQ community in India can finally live without fear of persecution for something as pure as expressing their love for another individual. We spoke to lawyer Mishi Choudhary about the law and what lies ahead for the community in terms of their struggle.
With the law read down, Choudhary feels, “The judgment affirms what millions of Indians already know in their hearts, have been hesitant to say out aloud. It is alright to be human and fall in love with whomsoever you want. This is rectification of a discordant note and should have been done the last time they were asked this question. We live in a constitutional democracy and the Supreme Court is fulfilling its role.”
She thinks now we need to educate the masses about the community for it become a norm in society.
“The Court has directed that the Government and States should run educational programs with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes or behaviours towards the LGBTQ community,” said Choudhary.
“The declaration of the aforesaid reading down of Section 377 shall not, however, lead to the reopening of any concluded prosecutions. But can certainly rely upon in all pending matters — whether they are at the trial, appellate, or revisional stages”
Talking about the other rights that the LGBTQ community needs to push for, she quoted the judgment “the majority must recognize that homosexuality is a completely natural condition, part of a range of human sexuality”. “We should put an end to all nonsensical claims by the self-proclaimed godmen that it’s some illness that we can cure. We should give no media space or time to politically active members of the society making irresponsible statements,” says Choudhary.
On whether there is scope for re-looking at the cases of harassment and discrimination that the community has faced over the years, and perhaps fight for redressal, she says, “The declaration of the aforesaid reading down of Section 377 shall not, however, lead to the reopening of any concluded prosecutions. But can certainly rely upon in all pending matters — whether they are at the trial, appellate, or revisional stages.”