The verdict regarding Section 377 on the 6th September 2018 brought with it celebration and overwhelming euphoria across the nation. The Indian LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, transsexual, queer) community will remember 6 September as the day their faith in the power of the law to protect and empower was re-instilled. One year ago, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India created history by decriminalizing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Today is the first anniversary of celebrating their pride moment.
The Fight for Equality
The end of section 377 is the culmination of a long struggle that activists, lawyers, academics, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the corporate world have been engaged in since the 1990s. Before social media took the country by storm, India fight to decriminalize the LGBTQIA+ community began in 1991 when a movement to repeal Section 377 was initiated by AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan. Their publication, Less than Gay: A Citizen Report, identified the issues with the law and demanded its abolition.
The Battle is Won
Historically, after many a court proceeding, the Supreme Court announced its final verdict regarding Section 377. On 6th September 2018, the law was deemed unconstitutional, âirrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary. The fight for equality finally ended and the freedom to simply be who you are and love whom you want to.
There is more to be done for the LGBTQIA+ community, but what a pivotal moment for Indians, indeed.
The judgement is a well-deserved victory for a community, which has suffered false hope, disappointments, and life as illegitimate citizens. However, the repealing of section 377 is not the end of the fight for equal rights. it will go down in history as a watershed moment for LGBTQ-inclusivity.