ADDED ON: 09/07/2018

Section 377: The Fight for LGBT Rights Has Just Begun

09/07/2018 | Hindustan Times

In 1884, an unusual case came up in the then colonial Allahabad high court. For months, the police had been tailing a person named Khairati on the suspicion that he was a “eunuch” after being tipped off that on a visit to his ancestral village, he was found dancing and singing dressed as a woman. The police arrested him on the suspicion that he was a “habitual sodomite” and subjected him to a medical examination, which recorded that the examinee showed the “characteristic mark of a catamite (a Victorian term for a man kept for homosexual desires).” He was prosecuted under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, becoming the first recorded case under the law and set the ground for numerous similar convictions in colonial India stemming from suspicion, rumours and anonymous tip-offs. One hundred and thirty four years later, India finally repealed the colonial law that criminalised same-sex relationships. The four concurring judgments touches upon the fundamental rights of LGBT people to live with dignity, get access to healthcare, and how constitutionalism trumped majoritarian morality.

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