Staff reporter

NEW DELHI: Legalising of gay sex by the Delhi High Court y was greeted with widespread delight and jubilation by members of the community in the Capital who flocked to Jantar Mantar to celebrate the landmark judgment, while some others were not sure of its implicat- ions.

Gautam Bhan, a member of the Delhi Queer Pride Committee that organised the gay parade in the Capital this past Sunday, said: “The High Court judgment has truly upheld the spirit of the Constitution. It has considered the right to equality of all citizens enshrined in Articles 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.”

“Over the last few years there has been a marked change in the perception of sexuality in India with reference to the media, law and culture. The gay parade that happened recently and the High Court judgment are a part of this change. The country is now amenable to a more nuanced and open concept of sexuality,” he added.

Mr. Bhan said the High Court judgment had given importance to a morality which is bigger than an individual’s personal belief -- a person’s opinion on homosexuality is immaterial.

“The Court has granted equal rights to the citizens of India. The judgment has proved that the Court had gone into the nitty-gritty of the matter and delved deeply into the issue of equal rights for all.”

Monish Malhotra, another member of the Delhi Queer Pride Committee, said: “The judgment is a victory for human rights. It is a historic day in India as the law has established that all are equal. The judgment says that people with an alternative sexuality would no longer be termed criminals.”

Sumit Baudh of “Voices Against 377”, an organisation that works for human rights, women’s and children’s rights, said: “This is a victory for all people who in the past have fought for equality and those who are in the process of struggling for it.”

Student Stuti Sharma said: “Most importantly this judgment has given the gay community the right to acknowledge their love and to be open about it.”

Public Relations executive Shakeel Hussain said: “The fight that had begun a while ago is finally bearing fruit. There is still a long way to go and acceptance will not be there for a long time. But we have to fight on and maybe we shall see legal gay marriages in the future.”

Blessy Augustine, a literature graduate, said: “I think it is a good move. Even though we may have our reservations about homosexuality being natural or unnatural, I do not think it is fair to condemn homosexuals to live a life of fear and frustration.”

However, a young man who did not wish to be quoted said: “The judgment may encourage male-to-male rape, especially in prisons.”

Another student, Anand, said: “No matter what the law says, India is still not open-minded enough to not have a problem with gays or public display of affection among them.”