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SC to revisit judgment on Article 377, seeks Centre's response

SC to revisit judgment on Article 377, seeks Centre's response”

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalising homosexuality has been under scrutiny for over 17 years.

"While we are disappointed in the Court's decision, the ACLU of MS will not stand quietly by while discrimination is sanctioned".

In august 2017, the landmark judgment on the right to privacy by a nine-judge bench of SC had criticised an earlier judgment of the apex court which reinstated the Section 377 that declares homosexuality unnatural and a legal offence. In 2014, the Supreme Court refused to review the decision while hearing multiple pleas on the matter.

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Noting that the curative petition against its 2013 judgement is pending before a five-judge Constitution bench, the apex court said the present petition will also be heard by the same larger bench and that a finality could be attained whether gay sex between two consenting adults can be decriminalised.

The Mississippi law-the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act-is now in effect and protects three specific religious beliefs: marriage only between a man and a woman; sexual relations confined only to marriage, and sex as an innate, immutable characteristic assigned at birth.

"A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear", the court said, in response to a case lodged by LBGTI activists arguing the ban has put them at constant risk of arrest. Moreover, the law also mentions that "penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section". Religious groups, however, had appealed against the decision in the Supreme Court.

"As long as they don't celebrate it, don't flaunt it, don't create gay bars to select partners it's not a problem", the Rajya Sabha member added. "In their privacy what they do, nobody can invade but if you flaunt it, it has to be punished & therefore there has to be Section 377 of the IPC".

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