The Supreme Court on Thursday said decriminalising Section 377 to recognize sexual rights of LGBTQ community members was just the beginning of the process for enjoyment of legitimate constitutional rights by them like any other citizen. As soon as the SC legalised Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), gay rights community and activists started celebrating the verdict. A bench of five judges headed by CJI Dipak Misra, comprising Justices Fali Nariman, A.M Khanwilkar, D.Y Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra delivered the verdict decriminalising IPC Section 377.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra in the 166-page judgement said the judiciary has a role in making the Constitution a “living document” through dynamic and purposive interpretations. Justice Chandrachud devoted some of the judgement to the rights of enjoyment of all constitutional rights by LGBTQ community members.He said, "In seeking an adjudication of the validity of Section 377, these (LGBTQ) citizens urge that the acts which the provision makes culpable should be decriminalised. But this case involves much more than merely decriminalising certain conduct which has been proscribed by a colonial law.” Though, the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377, there still remains some challenges as amendments need to be made in other Sections as well.
- Marriage – Amendments need to be made in legal provisions for marriage as there is no such law for same sex marriages in India.
- Adoption – There is no law that allows LGBTQ couples or singles to adopt.
- Domestic violence – Needs modifications in order to SC’s verdict on fundamental rights, equality, and Constitutional morality.
- Employment and other rights – LGBTQ community faces discrimination in jobs, education, and parental property.