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We are treated like rapists and criminals: Gay activist
It is a black day for the gay community in India. The Supreme Court of India has declared gay sex illegal and punishable. Gay activists are disappointed with the verdict. One such activist, Harish Iyer considers it to be a huge setback. ''It is a huge setback. It is very regressive and this Supreme Court's verdict equates India with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where there is no freedom to be your true self.''

The SC has set aside the ruling of 2009, which had decriminalised gay sex. LGBT communities all across India hailed High Court's judgement then. The High Court had made valid observations about equal rights being granted to the LGBT community. But, the verdict has been taken for a ride by the highest court of the country.

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It is more hurtful for the gay community as in the past four years, since the High Court's decision, people from the LGBT community came out from their closet and openly declared that they were gay. There were a number of positive things that arose with it like the increase in HIV intervention. But, with SC verdict, will the same happen? One doubts.

Iyer said, ''People like me will always say it openly, I am a gay.'' But, not everyone from the community may do so like Iyer, as the same sex intercourse is punishable for 10 years of life-imprisonment. ''Some people within the community might even go to foreign land, as India has become very regressive. They will go to some progressive countries.'' Britain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, France, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark etc are some of the countries, where same sex marriages are recognised.

The members of the community have a valid point as well, as they are angered by the verdict. ''Gay rights are also human rights. We are not asking for anything but just equal rights,'' said Iyer, further adding, ''we are treated like rapists and criminals.'' Harish Iyer had been named by the Guardian as the 100 most influential gays of the world.

Ever since the news broke out in the morning, social networking websites have has gone abuzz, especially Twitter with twitteratis spitting venom on the Supreme Court's verdict. Suhel Seth with his tweet handle @suhelseth tweeted, ''Gay sex is illegal. Justice A K Ganguly's act is legal...wah Supreme Court! Well done!''. Another well known TV journalist, Barkha Dutt tweeted with her tweet handle, @BDUTT, ''With this Supreme Court verdict ( and if parliament does not legislate) we are back to treating consenting, adult, sexual choices as crimes.''

The Supreme Court of late has been making landmark judgements of late, for which they have been applauded. But the judgement has not gone down well with not only the LGBT community, but the public in general as well. One twitterati with tweet handle, @ranjona angered with the verdict, tweeted ''I don't care about those bloody red lights. Giving equal rights, dignity to the LGBT community was far more important, dear Supreme Court.''

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