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INDIA – A step forward against discrimination: Same-sex relationship legalised

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July 2009, the Delhi High Court made a judgment by legalising
same-sex relationship between consenting adults. This is a great step
forward against discrimination, bigotry and intolerance against this
is not only criminalised but also marginalised in the region. Both the
148-old British colonial law and the Indian Penal Code provide that
perpetrators of same-sex relationship are to be jailed up to ten years.

The Chief Justice Shah and J. Muralidhar delivered the judgment
stating in the 105 page finding: "In our view, Indian Constitutional
law does not permit the statutory criminal law to be held captive by the
popular misconceptions of who the LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexuals) are. It cannot be forgotten that
discrimination is antithesis of equality and that it is the recognition of
equality which will foster the dignity of every individual."

The law is
still in effect, but only pertaining to non-consensual sexual act with minors or the ones under
the age of 18. The Parliament decides
to amend it, nevertheless the decriminalisation of India will allow for a wider
lobbying platform for LGBT rights in the nation.

progressive step made by the Delhi High Court is laudable, since inclusiveness
is the foundation of human rights, especially in the region where LGBT rights is
not only non-conceptualised but homosexuality is a target for discrimination and even
violence. India has lead the way for human rights in regards to the LGBT
community and must be an exemplar for the rest of the region. LGBT rights are
human rights, and cannot be denied on the basis of exclusivity. Sounding the
Chief Justice's reminder of the constitution's core of
inclusiveness is what has to be seriously taken into account.