Updated: December 7, 2021 7:22:00 am
THE SUPREME Court’s judgments decriminalising homosexuality and ordering permanent commission for women in the armed forces “have tried to improve the legal status of” members of the LGBTQ community and women, “yet their impact on the society continues to be limited”, Justice D Y Chandrachud said Monday.
Delivering the 13th B R Ambedkar Memorial Lecture 2021 on “Conceptualising Marginalisation: Agency, Assertion, and Personhood” here, the Supreme Court judge said that “…marginalisation not only occurs to members from the lower castes or specific races but to those who belong to a particular gender or identify with a specific sexual orientation or are in other ways different from what is considered to be the “norm”,” and added that this was seen with respect to women in the Permanent Commission matter where “the armed forces were willing to overlook all military records and meritorious achievements of women officers when it came to granting them Permanent Commission, by effectively reducing their identity to being “women”. Similarly, in the LGBTQ matter, the SC, he said “noted that one of the effects of Section 377 was to reduce the identity of all members of the LGBTQ community to their sexual relationships alone”.
He said “the only way for the members of the marginalised communities to achieve personhood is through social mobilisation as a collective against discrimination”.
He added that “castelessness is a privilege that only the upper caste can afford because their caste privilege has already translated into social, political and economic capital…”
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