In one of the most regressive judgments in its history, the Supreme Court on 11th December 2013 in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs. Naz Foundation, Civil Appeal 10972/2013, set aside the 2009 judgement of the Delhi High Court and upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377, which criminalises certain sexual acts between consenting adults.
By upholding Section 377, the Supreme Court has recriminalized homosexual identities, undoing the gains made through the Delhi High Court. The sense of freedom and equality that was experienced in the last four years by the LGBT community has sought to be snatched away by an institution which is supposed to be the upholder of fundamental rights. In the garb of legal reasoning, the judgment reflects a deep sense of homophobia and distrust of alternate sexualities.
Significantly, the response in the media and sections of the political establishment in completely rejecting the judgment has been heartening. A number of important developments have taken place including statements made by prominent Congress leaders, jurists and other intellectuals in support of LGBT rights. The Government has also suggested the possibility of bringing in an ordinance as well as pursuing all legal strategies against the judgment.
In these trying times, it is important for us to come together and fight this prejudice, both inside and outside the Supreme Court. A national meeting will, therefore, be held on 22nd December, 2013 at Jacaranda Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi to discuss the judgment and the future strategy against Section 377.