Thousands call for scrapping Section 377

Thousands call for scrapping Section 377

The matter is pending in the HC and judgment has been reserved after deliberations: Moily

Thousands call for scrapping Section 377


The controversial section of the IPC -which recommends punishment for unnatural sex- is said to have been used against gays and lesbians. During a press meet on Friday, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily had said that Home Minister P Chidambaram had indeed called for a meeting of state home and health ministers to discuss the issue.

Refusing to comment further on the issue, the minister had mentioned that the matter is pending in the High Court and judgement has been reserved after deliberations.

Section 377 recommends for a life sentence or a 10 year prison sentence with  or a fine for anyone having carnal intercourse with man, woman or animal "against the order of nature."

Though "unnatural sex" of a voluntary kind may be made legal if the section is abolished, forced unnatural sex would be treated as a crime and would call for severe punishment.
Legal experts feel repealing section 377 would become a precursor to demands of changes to several civil and criminal laws, including amendment of IPC section 376 that deals with rape.

According to Sandip Das, a Supreme Court advocate, acknowledgement of only the heterosexual unions by Indian law has denied same-sex couples and transvestites their right to marry and have families. He said a host of laws have both explicitly and implicitly refuse them rights such as such as inheritance, owning property, obtaining insurance policies in their names, adopting children etc.

The Delhi High Court has reserved the order, after the previous UPA government vehemently opposed the submission by a voluntary agency to scrap the section. It noted: "It is illegal to have unnatural sex as demanded by a group fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians."

The move to repeal the section has come under attack by religious leaders, who contend it would endanger Indian family value. “It is against our culture and family system. IT would lead to spreading of several diseases. However, we will see what kind of changes will be introduced,” said Vinod Bansal, spokesperson of Delhi unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a a prominent Muslim body, has also opposed repealing of the section stating that it would lead to "sexual anarchy" in the country.  "Same sex unions are not acceptable. It is against the tenets of Bible, which says man and woman are created in god's image. Further, same sex unions are against the society," said Rt Rev Abraham Mar Paulos Episcopa, Head of Marthoma Syrian Church of Malabar diocesan said.

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