`Sec 377 repeal matter of formality now' [ Aug 25 2017 : The Times of India (Kolkata)]

Activists and lawyers working for the LGBT community acclaimed Supreme Court's ruling on the Right to Privacy that also made a strong case for the rights of the sexual minority. Activist Gautam Bhan said SC's reading of the right to privacy as an aspect of dignity and equality , particularly in the case of LGBT rights, was welcome. “We could have gone to court on privacy grounds. But we didn't because that is not acceptance. It is just tolerance that favours the elites who can afford to conduct their lives behind closed doors. The judgment is much more than that. It has spo ken of privacy with dignity and equality . It reaffirms the Delhi High Court judgment in speaking of sexuality within the framework of constitutionality ,“ Bhan said. Anjali Gopalan, founder and executive director of Naz Foundation that works on sexual health issues, said the order would have far reaching implications. The NGO has been at the forefront of the legal activism against Section 377, which penalises “unnatural sex“. In 2009 the Delhi High Court had struck down Section 377, a decision later reversed by the Supreme Court in 2013. The reversal has been challenged and is pending before the Supreme Court. Advocate Anand Grover, who represented Naz Foundation in court, told TOI “it is now only a matter of formality“ to repeal section 377. Gopalan spoke of Prof Ramchandra Siras of AMU, suspended in 2010 after two men barged into his room and videographed him having sex with another man. Siras died a few months after the incident. “At least people will be protected from that kind of violation. We're not living in the dark ages anymore,“ she says.
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