Bengaluru: Terming the Supreme Court’s verdict on Section 377 of the IPC a milestone for personal liberty, equality and principles of social justice, Swaraj India member Manohar Elavarthi on Thursday said it (ruling) had rid the country of a 158-year-old colonial legacy.
“The verdict against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has rid the country of a 158-year-old colonial legacy of the British Raj and made the law fall in line with the Constitution,” Elavarthi told IANS here.
Earlier in the day, the apex court decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.
As a human rights activist and founder of Sangama, a city-based organisation for sexual minorities, including individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference, Elavarthi has been fighting for the rights of the LGBTIQ community across Karnataka over the last two decades.
“Though it’s time to celebrate and enjoy the moment, the fight to erase the stigma and change the society’s mindset will continue. Sangama will work for mainstreaming the community and empowering them to achieve their rights,” asserted Elavarthi.
As every human has equal value, Elavarthi said, criminalising the entire community for its sexual orientation and preference was a human rights violation it endured for generations.
“Criminalising consensual sex between adults violates constitutional principles of justice. Laws should confirm with constitutional morality and values. The need of the hour is to enact laws to prevent discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” added Elavarthi.
Celebrations broke out in the city, with about 100 members of the community cheering, hugging and dancing at the Town Hall and lauding the top court’s judgment.