New Delhi, Feb 2: The Supreme Court on Monday heard a petition challenging criminalisation of homosexuality and gay sex, filed by an NGO Naz Foundation. LGBTQ activists and supporters rejoiced as the apex court agreed to reopen the debate on the draconian Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises homosexual sex and holds it akin of betiality. SC referred the matter to a 5-judge bench, in a positive step towards ensuring grant of rights to the members of the LGBTQ community.

The NGO had moved the apex court against what they called “gross miscarriage of justice” in its judgement upholding the validity of section 377. On 11 December 2013, SC had passed a judgement upholding the validity of the section in the Indian Penal Code and had also dismissed several review petitions in January, 2014. Before that, the Delhi High Court had repealled Section 377, which had then been taken to the Supreme Court and the section was upheld again, tossing LGBTQ rights in the dump once again. This had seen a renewed effort to bring the issue into the light more than ever. Also Read: Gay sex: Supreme Court to hear plea for relook on verdict on Section 377

Ever since the judgement, members and supporters of the LGBTQI community have been mobilising themselves to make homosexuality and other myriad of sexualities more acceptable in the Indian society, leading to hundreds of men and women coming out in the open and talking about embracing their individual sexualities freely. The movements has also seen the support of prominent actors, celebrities, politicians, public figures and activists. There have been vigils and marches organised across the country where people from all walks of life come and join in to show their support.