In a major setback to the rights of gay people across India, the Supreme Court of India today reversed a landmark judgment of the Delhi High Court which had decriminalized homosexual acts.
We are shocked at the decision of the Supreme Court in Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation and join millions of people across the country to protest against this decision. The decision by overturning the historic Delhi High Court judgment which de-criminalised same sex in private is a step that will take India back a hundred years. By overturning the Naz Foundation judgment, the Supreme Court has withdrawn the constitutional protection guaranteed to every citizen of Indian and renders LGBT persons vulnerable to discrimination, violence and harassment.
By re-criminalizing LGBT persons the judgment ignores the spirit of inclusiveness which is the heart of the Indian Constitution as articulated by Jawaharlal Nehru. It abandons the principle of constitutional morality (ie majorities dont have a charter to discriminate against minorities purely because they are majorities) articulated by Dr. Ambedkar which is the cornerstone of a diverse and plural nation.
The judgment is a deep betrayal of the fundamental Constitutional promise that the dignity of all citizens would be recognized and that all citizens would be treated as equal and entitled to equal protection of the law. In this betrayal of constitutional faith, the Court has shredded the very principles it has sworn itself to uphold.
Hard as this decision is and difficult as the road forward may be, we draw strength and inspiration from ordinary LGBT persons who will not allow this to affect the way they lead their lives. In the course of the last ten years or so, LGBT persons will have to fight back and continue their struggle for their own lives, openly and publicly proclaiming their claim to equal citizenship. LGBT persons cannot be denied the right to freedom, equality and dignity. Rights are not conferred by the Court, as the Naz judgment said, they are merely confirmed by them.
We proclaim that in spite of the judgment of the Supreme Court, the LGBT movement and their allies will go forward in the fight for justice. We pledge to continue this struggle till such time that Section 377 is repealed!
VIDROHI MAHILA MANCH