‘SC verdict on gay sex is like getting marriage offer after retirement’: India’s first transgender college principalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/sc-verdict-on-gay-sex-is-like-getting-marriage-offer-after-retirement-5343438/

‘SC verdict on gay sex is like getting marriage offer after retirement’: India’s first transgender college principal

The apex court earlier on Thursday ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised gay sex between consenting adults is "manifestly arbitrary".

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In a landmark decision in July 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalised homosexuality among consenting adults on grounds that it violated Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. (Express photo/Tashi Tobgyal)

Expressing joy over the Supreme Court’s verdict decriminalising homosexuality, West Bengal’s Manabi Bandopadhyay, India’s first transgender college principal, on Thursday said the verdict on gay sex is like getting a marriage offer after retirement.

The apex court earlier on Thursday ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised gay sex between consenting adults is “manifestly arbitrary”.

“For me, the verdict is like getting a marriage offer after retirement. I am saying this from my life’s experience as I haven’t given heed to the previous law criminalising us,” Bandopadhyay, who is currently the Vice Chairman of West Bengal’s transgender development board said.

She said the verdict would be “helpful for the next generation of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community across India”.

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“This is like independence from one of the many failures or struggles that we still face,” said Bandopadhyay.

Asked if this verdict would bring any major change, Bandopadhyay said: “Law has never been able to control our mind or feelings but yes this verdict was much needed.

“I had known that the verdict will be positive so had been celebrating for a long time. I had put up a dam to control my excitement,” added Bandopadhyay, who is working along with the state’s Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department that also looks after transgender development.