Announcing the historic verdict on Section 377 of the IPC, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said on Thursday majoritarian views and popular morality could not dictate constitutional rights.
The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously decriminalised homosexuality and gay sex between consenting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.
In separate but unanimous verdicts, the Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional.
Here are some top quotes from today’s landmark verdict:
1. The constitution is a dynamic document, having the primary objective of establishing a dynamic and inclusive society. Section 377 is irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible as it fetters the right to equality for LGBT community…LGBT community possesses same equality as other citizens.
2. Privacy of human beings constitutes the cardinal rule of our constitution. Make way for progressive realization of social and economic rights and to begin a dialogue for ensuring individual rights reports, have to bid adieu to perception stereotypes.
3. Sustenance of identity is the pyramid of life
4. Sexual orientation is natural. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is violation of freedom of speech and expression.
5. LGBTQ community has the same rights as other citizens do. Denial of self expression is like death.
6. I am what I am. So take me as I am. No one can escape from their individuality.
7. The majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights.
8. Consensual sex between adults in private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice. Section 377 results in discrimination and is violative of constitutional principles.
9. Members of LGBT community members and their family members owe an apology from society for being denied equal rights over the years.
10. Punishment under Section 377 made the LGBT a closeted community, destroyed the identity of members and reached their dignity, all part of right to life. The state has no business to get into controlling the private lives of LGBT community members or for that matter that if any citizen.