Gay sex ban: All is not lost yet, SC order on Sec 377 gives us fresh hopehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/gay-sex-ban-all-is-not-lost-yet-sc-order-on-sec-377-gives-us-fresh-hope/

Gay sex ban: All is not lost yet, SC order on Sec 377 gives us fresh hope

Amol Palekar welcomed the order and said that it shows the doors of the Supreme court have not ‘shut down’ yet. Having an open mind on the issue that has been pending for so long is definitely a welcome step, he told The Indian Express.

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In December 2013, the Supreme Court had quashed the Delhi HC’s decision of 2009 that had legalised gay sex, and upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377

The Supreme Court order on re-opening the Section 377 debate is a vital step forward (again!), said Dr Shalmalee Palekar, Professor of Post Colonial Literature at the University of Western Australia, to The Indian Express in an email interview. Shalmalee is the daughter of noted actors Amol and Chitra Palekar.
On Tuesay, the apex court referred a batch of petitions challenging Section 377 of the IPC—a law that criminalises consensual sexual acts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) adults in private—to a five judge constitution bench for in-depth hearing.

Amol Palekar welcomed the order and said that it shows the doors of the Supreme court have not ‘shut down’ yet. Having an open mind on the issue that has been pending for so long is definitely a welcome step, he told The Indian Express.

The curative petitions had challenged the court’s December 11, 2013, judgement when it had upheld Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.

At that time, Chitra Palekar had been extremely disappointed as she was among the 19 petitioners in the Supreme Court supporting the Delhi HC verdict that decriminalised homosexuality.

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In the email interview, Shalmalee spoke of her extreme disappointment with the verdict. “I was angry about the judgement then. It was a huge blow to human rights and social justice in India. Now, this order is another vital step – again – and lets hope for the best,” she wrote.

In December 2013, the SC had quashed the Delhi HC’s decision of 2009 that had legalised gay sex, and upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377.
“Tuesday’s order now gives us fresh hope that yes, all is not lost,” said Bindumadhav Khire, founder of Sampathik trust that provides interventions like condoms and creates awareness among gays, transgenders and other groups.

Mayuresh Baji, a city-based IT professional, who has openly disclosed his gay preference with his family and at work, and has a steady relationship, said that the previous judgement was regressive.

“We had expected a decision on the curative petition today, but the SC order referring the matter to a constitutional bench is also welcome and we too hope for the best,” Baji said.