NEW DELHI: A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously decriminalised part of Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the rights to equality. The constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra termed the part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises consensual unnatural sex as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.
The bench said that the part of Section 377 dealing with homosexuality is violative of the right to equality and the right to live with dignity.
The strongly-worded judgement in favour of the LGBTQI community said that a person's natural orientation constitutes the core of his/her being and identity. "Homosexuality is something that is based on sense of identity. It is the reflection of a sense of emotion and expression of eagerness to establish intimacy. It is just as much ingrained, inherent and innate as heterosexuality. Sexual orientation, as a concept, fundamentally implies a pattern of sexual attraction. It is as natural a phenomenon as other natural biological phenomena. What the science of sexuality has led to is that an individual has the tendency to feel sexually attracted towards the same sex, for the decision is one that is controlled by neurological and biological factors. That is why it is his/her natural orientation which is innate and constitutes the core of his/her being and identity," the judgement read.
FULL TEXT: 5-Judge SC bench verdict on Section 377
"The society cannot remain unmindful to the theory which several researches, conducted both in the field of biological and psychological science, have proven and reaffirmed time and again. To compel a person having a certain sexual orientation to proselytize to another is like asking a body part to perform a function it was never designed to perform in the first place. It is pure science, a certain manner in which the brain and genitals of an individual function and react. Whether one's sexual orientation is determined by genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and/or cultural influences (or a combination thereof), most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation," the judgement states.