Mixed reactions from LGBT activists

City based groups voice their views on SC directive.

Chennai: With the SC handing over the batch of eight petitions, challenging Section 377 of IPC, to a five-judge Constitution Bench for review, seeing hope return, LGBT groups celebrated across the city.

There were those too who are still against decriminalising sexual acts involving homosexual individuals. DC talks to individuals on both sides to know their side of the argument on the British-era law.

Why sec 377 shouldn’t stay?
“I am very happy at the current status of the hearing on Section 377. At least, that the SC decided to refer to a Bench for further hearing, is a sort of hope for us. Love is not a crime, and it shouldn’t be bound by such laws,” said transgender rights activist Kalki Subramaniam. “This is the first step, whether the law stays or is removed, it is still a long walk for us,” said an ecstatic Kalki, who is also striving to spread awareness on rights, and remove social taboo related to transgender community in the southern states.

“Section 377 of IPC is not just a curb on the freedom of LGBT community but also on the heterosexual people, because it is flawed. The law was framed in the colonial period and Britain itself has decriminalised homosexual sex but we are still there. Every person has the right to his choice and freedom. We are a free country and no one can frame a law against what goes on in an individual’s private life,” said Vikram Sundarram, an activist of the Nirangal NGO, which advocates for the rights of LGBT.

Why should it not be scrapped?
“Under Section 377, sexual acts against the order of nature are criminalised. It should be modified to allow acts between individuals behind closed doors but not scrapped.

The law punishes for intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal but people fail to consider that. People debating have to understand that with an animal it is non consenting, and unnatural sex and offenders have to be penalized,” said Dawn Williams, animal activist and General Manager of Blue Cross of India.

“I am not against transgender community but homosexuality is against Indian culture. Every person is supposed to maintain a social discipline and promoting gay and lesbian rights violates that discipline. Such influence will only spoil the coming generations. In Britain, the law might have been scrapped, but to us it is about maintaining harmony in our society and following culture,: said A.T. Elangovan, general secretary of Hindu Munnani.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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