The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has for a long time been fighting for Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to be amended. In this section, any sexual act between same-sex individuals is considered a criminal act and going against the law will cost life imprisonment. Yesterday, a five-judge bench have started hearing petitions that were filed by the people who wanted to decriminalise the act. Post this, there were many debates doing the rounds on social media. Eminent personalities and many politicians came out in support of the LGBT community to decriminalise gay sex. Television actor Nakuul Mehta, who often shares his views on social issues had something to add here as well.
Replying to a tweet by a netizen who said, “#Section377 should be repealed, LGBTs are God’s creations too, like we are BUT LGBTs should not display their affection for each other in public vulgarly, they can do anything in private AND how many of us are ready to rent out our apartments to them?,” Nakuul tweeted, Thank you for your validation. Tuesday made. NOT I have an 3 bhk apartment available to rent in Andheri W. More than gay to give it to anybody who’d be a good/paying tenant.#Section377 #NoIfNoBUT.”
Section 377 of Indian Penal Code is a law that calls gay sex unnatural and a punishable act for which one can get a lifelong imprisonment. It has been in existence for more than one and a half centuries now and in July 2009, the Delhi High Court described it as a violation of the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution and decriminalised it. On 11 December 2013, the judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court and restored the criminality of a sexual relationship between persons of the same sex. Several curative petitions were filed by the ones affected, seeking for a reexamination of the verdict. The matter was again taken up for hearing by the top court earlier this year after hearing a petition filed by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Singh Johar, celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia and others. They said that they were living in the fear of being prosecuted. On July 10, a five-judge bench started hearing the matter once again.