A section of members of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community in the city on Wednesday, said they were deeply disappointed and disturbed at the Supreme Court decision, which has upheld the validity of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Section 377 criminalises sexual acts that are ‘against the order of nature’. This applies to homosexuality, and punishment for this can be up to imprisonment for life.
Addressing presspersons after a protest in Chepauk, members of the Chennai Rainbow Coalition, which is a body of organisations representing the LGBT community, said the judgement was a step backwards.
Shankari of Nirangal said that when society can accept things like surrogate mothers and test tube babies, which were against nature, it should accept their ilk too.
Vikranth of Chennai Dost, said that though not too many cases had been filed under section 377, there was a chance that it would be misused. “Police harassment will continue. Already, our members are being bullied, threatened and blackmailed. Our counselling centre gets several calls every week from distressed members,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the judgement of the Delhi High Court, which had held that section 377 violated the fundamental right of life and liberty and the right to equality as guaranteed in the Constitution. The apex court upheld the validity of section 377 of the IPC, but also said that it was up to the Parliament to amend the law if it wanted to.