When the Supreme Court Thursday decriminalised homosexuality in a historic verdict, Joyita Mondal, a transgender judge, was joyous but also looking beyond Section 377 and the broader issues of adoption, employment and elections concerning the LGBTQ community.
“Though India received independence long back, we got ours today,” said Mondal, a Lok Adalat judge in North Dinajpur district’s Islampur in North Bengal. Follow Section 377 verdict reactions LIVE updates
She went to add that “I wish to adopt a child” while underlining it was about time sexual minorities were granted rights on par with other citizens.
The judge also said the next step should be reservation in employment for the transgender community and contesting assembly and general elections. “Enough joking around, we want a change. It is time the stigma be removed from us. We want respect from society,” she said.
The bench that ruled against Section 377 had said it would only deal with the question of the validity of Section 377 and would not venture into the issue of marriage relating to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community or inheritance in live-in relationships.
Expressing similar views, Lok Adalat judge in Guwahati Swati Bidhan Baruah, also a transgender, said that after many years, “it finally feels as if we are citizens of India.”
Looking at the future, Baruah said the government should now spell out the rights and liberties due to the community. “It is how the society now sees us. Society has to change its perspective towards us,” said Baruah.