The recent Supreme Court judgment reversed the progressive stance taken by the Delhi High Court in 2009 with regard to Section 377. It recriminalizes sexual acts deemed “unnatural” between consenting adults. One of the grounds justifying this decision is that the LGBTQI* community constitutes a “miniscule minority” and thus this section cannot be seen as violating people’s fundamental rights. This is a problematic stand to take not only for the LGBTQI* community, but every other community which is oppressed by the dominant sections of the society. It essentially states that the legal machinery is not obligated to guarantee the fundamental rights of people who do not form a majority in the country. This stand also reflects the Supreme Court’s opinion on other communities such as the marginalized castes, religious minorities as well as disabled individuals, who are also a minority, if not in numbers then definitely in the eyes of what is a majoritarian thought.

We see this in opposition to the idea of this democratic country whose Constitution guarantees each and every individual the right to equality. The Delhi High Court Judgment of 2009 which decriminalized sexual activities between consenting adults of the same sex made the following statement:

“If there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of ‘inclusiveness’. This Court believes that Indian Constitution reflects this value deeply ingrained in Indian society, nurtured over several generations. The inclusiveness that Indian society traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life, is manifest in recognizing a role in society for everyone. Those perceived by the majority as “deviants” or ‘different’ are not on that score excluded or ostracized.”

On the eve of this republic day, as we celebrate the progressive Constitution of this country,we stand by the understanding of inclusiveness and democracy as espoused by the progressive judgment and resist the regressive stance put forth by the Supreme Court!

Join LABIA and Zehen for a leafleting campaign to help spread awareness on the issue. You can take a print out of the leaflets and distribute them by yourself in any area of your choice. Additionally, you may join us at any of the following locations in Mumbai, Maharashtra:

25th January (Saturday)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Platform No. 1) at 11:00 a.m
Dadar (W) Station at 1:00 p.m
Bandra (W) Station at 5:00 p.m

26th January (Sunday)
Lower Parel (W) Station at 11:00 a.m
Mumbai Central (W) Station at 3:00 p.m
Churchgate (Platform No. 2) at 5:00 p.m

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