Bhubaneswar, September 6, 2018: Celebrations broke out here on Thursday as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community and others welcomed the Supreme Court judgment decriminalising consensual gay sex by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.
Members of the LGBTQ community welcomed the verdict with many cutting cakes, unfurling the rainbow flag, distributing sweets and dancing to the tune of music at the Lower PMG Square in front of the Odisha Assembly.“It is not only a historic day but Independence Day for us. We salute the Supreme Court for making our life dignified. We were cautiously optimistic about SC verdict,” said Meghna Sahu, a transgender who was a key person in arranging a celebration party at the State capital soon after the SC verdict.
Earlier on September 1, hundreds of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, intersex, queer and allies carrying rainbow flags and wearing glitters on their cheeks walked during the 7th Rainbow Pride Walk held in Bhubaneswar to demand equal rights, social acceptance and abolition of section 377.
Today, in a separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional and said it is no longer an offence for LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community to engage in consensual sex between two adults in private.
And, finally the SC reads down 158-years old colonial law and allowed gay sex among consenting adults in private.