Reactions to Section 377 verdict | Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses dismay

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalised a portion of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial era provision that criminalises private consensual sexual acts between same sex adults.

As the verdict was delivered in the Supreme Court, jubliant gay rights activists celebrated on the lawns of the court. Shouts of 'Hip Hip Hurray' echoed on the premises.


AIMPLB says verdict is against Indian culture

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board stated, “Legalizing homosexuality is against Indian values and culture. No religion allows immorality. The government must pass a bill to protect the rights of women as they are the major victims of legalised homosexuality.”




Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses dismay

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has expressed disappointment over the verdict.

In a press statement, JIH secretary-general Muhammad Salim Engineer said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is dismayed and disappointed over the Supreme Court verdict to legalize homosexual behavior between two consenting adults, effectively scrapping section 377 of IPC and overturning (sic) the earlier judgment of the Delhi High Court. It may be recalled that JIH along with leaders of different religious organisations had welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court (delivered on 11 Dec 2013) wherein the SC had refused to do away with section 377 and persisted with the view that homosexuality is a criminal offence. With that historic decision, the apex court had kept the country from going on to the path of moral degradation. But today the SC has ruled that ‘human sexuality cannot be confined to a binary and that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

“Thus by decriminalising homosexuality and permitting male-male and female-female marriage will destroy the family system and prevent the natural evolution and progress of the human race. Jamaat firmly believes in the fundamental rights of all citizens and is a strong advocate of freedom and minority rights. However we wish to remind fellow citizens that with freedom comes moral responsibility and no society can accept crimes, vices and anarchy in the name of freedom and personal liberty. We will persevere to educate the people and exercise all democratic options to resist this shameful perversion and decadence in values which ignores religious teachings, our culture and the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the people. Such filthy experiments have destroyed human society and violated the rights of women on large scale in certain countries and we should learn a lesson from it.

“Save this country from falling into sexual anarchy, protect our children from vile sexual predators, safeguard the rights of our daughters and sisters and prevent the infringement of the fundamental rights of its citizens as the abrogation of section 377 of IPC will have a cascading effect on the Personal Laws of many religions. We sincerely hope and pray that the country will be rescued from the dark precipice it is rushing headlong into.''




Verdict gives hope to those fighting for justice: Amnesty

Amnesty International India has said the verdict gives hope to everyone fighting for justice and equality.

“The judgment closes the door on a dark chapter of Indian history. It marks a new era of equality for millions of people in India,” says Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India. “The remarkable victory today is a milestone in the three decade old struggle by the LGBTI community and their allies in India.”

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However, the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community’s struggle for their rights including marriage, adoption and inheritance will continue, Ms. Basu says. “While today’s judgement answers the constitutional invalidity of Section 377, the struggle for the rights of LGBTI people continues, including in relation to marriage, adoption or inheritance.”

Amnesty says the landmark ruling “sends a message of hope not only to LGBTI people, but to everyone fighting for justice and equality”.

The court’s unanimous verdict has upheld the right to equality, privacy, dignity and freedom of expression of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, it says


RSS nuances its line on verdict

Our Correspondent Vikas Pathak reports that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has reacted cautiously to the verdict decriminalising consenting homosexual relations between adults in private, agreeing with the court that homosexuality should not be a crime.

However, it nuanced its position by saying that it did not approve of homosexuality, as it was against "nature" and against social beliefs.

"Just like the Supreme Court, we also do not consider this criminal. But we do not support homosexuality, as same-sex marriages and relations are not in sync with nature. Traditionally too, Indian society does not accept such relations," RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Arun Kumar said.

He added, "Since humans learn with experience, it is necessary to manage this matter at the social and psychological level."

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CPI(M) calls verdict a ‘historic victory’

“CPI(M) Welcomes the Historic Supreme Court Judgement on #Section377. #377Verdict #Sec377,” tweeted the party’s official handle.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also lauded the verdict. “The judgement against Section 377 of the IPC constitutes a historic victory for the LGBT communities who have suffered humiliation, bigotry and even violence at the hands of retrograde forces.”



Momentous, says Surjewala

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Supreme Court verdict on #Section377 is momentous. An age-old colonial law, that was an anachronism in today’s modern times, ends restoring the fundamental rights & negating discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s an imp step forward towards a liberal, tolerant society.”



Kannada writer Vasudhendra calls verdict ‘phenomenal’

LGBTQ activist and Kannada writer Vasudhendra, who is the author of Mohanaswamy, a collection of gay short stories, called the Supreme Court verdict a phenomenal one. “For me, the British rule has finally ended and we have truly got Independence today,” he said.

The writer, who has also been counselling those from the LGBTQ community, said that the suffering of many would end now. “Section 377 had created a lot of fear among people. The verdict will enable them to come out of the closet and live their lives freely,” he said.

The verdict had also reinstated the trust of the people of the community on the legal system, especially the Supreme Court, and the country. “India is definitely on the path of progress,” he said.


UN calls verdict ‘first step to full fundamental rights’

The United Nations, in a statement, welcomed the judgment and said it was the first step towards ensuring full fundamental rights to LGBTI persons.

Here is the full statement:

“The United Nations in India welcomes the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India striking down a key component of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized specific sexual acts between adults, a law dating back to British colonial rule that has targeted in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities.

“Sexual orientation and gender expression form an integral part of an individual’s identity the world over, and violence, stigma and discrimination based on these attributes constitute an egregious violation of human rights. LGBTI persons across the world continue to be the targets of violent attacks and are affected by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and social status.

“The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court’s ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons. We also hope that the judgment will boost efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons in all areas of social, economic, cultural and political activity, thereby ensuring a truly inclusive society. The focus must now be on ensuring access to justice, including remedy; effective investigations of acts of violence and discrimination; and effective access to economic, social and cultural rights.”


Decision vindicates my stand: Shashi Tharoor

“So pleased to learn that the Supreme Court has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377& on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity &constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS,” tweeted Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor.



Bollywood celebrities hail judgment

Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted, “Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!”

Actor Swara Bhasker also supported the judgment. She tweeted, “Congratulations to all the activists and petitioners on #SupremeCourt judgement scrapping #Section377 Your perseverance just made #India a freer place for everyone ! #LoveIsLove #Pride #377Verdict #377Scrapped Three cheers for the #SupremeCourt.”

“Bye bye 377,” tweeted filmmaker and actor Farhan Akhtar. “Thank you #SupremeCourt #abouttime #nomorediscrimination #loveislove.”



Congress welcomes verdict

“We join the people of India & the LGBTQIA+ community in their victory over prejudice. We welcome the progressive & decisive verdict from the Supreme Court & hope this is the beginning of a more equal & inclusive society,” tweeted the Congress’ official handle.


Student comes out

Smriti, a student.

Smriti, a student.   | Photo Credit: Jaideep Deo Bhanj


“We are not criminals anymore. We are who we are. I bunked college and came here to the SC early in the morning and was scared that our parents would see us on camera. I’m coming out in front of your camera right now. It may not be the ideal way to tell my parents, though. The war is not won yet, only a battle has been won,” says Smriti.


Activists celebrate

Sukhmani, an 18-year-old activist.

Sukhmani, an 18-year-old activist.   | Photo Credit: Jaideep Deo Bhanj


Sukhmani, an 18-year old activist tells Jaideep Deo Bhanj, "we are very happy to receive the same rights as all other people in this country. We will have legal acceptance now will work for social acceptance now. At least the constitution and the IPC supports!"

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 11:11:56 AM |

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