New Delhi, Jan 28 :
Activists of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community Tuesday said they were not disappointed with the Supreme Court’s refusal to review its judgment on section 377 as they had seen it coming. But they said they were now more focussed on taking the fight forward.
“It wasn’t something we weren’t expecting, so we aren’t disheartened. In fact, the real fight begins now when the LGBT community has to stand up for themselves, and continue fighting,” gay-rights activist Shaleen Rakesh told IANS.
“Rather than dwelling on what the SC has said is of no use. What they have done is terrible, but I believe this is not the time for negative emotions, it is time to be together and proudly admit ‘I love myself’,” he added.
An apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay dismissed the review petition in a chamber hearing Tuesday.
In December, a bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi (since retired) and Justice Mukhopadhyay had set aside a Delhi High Court order overturning section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which held that consensual sex between adults of the same gender was a criminal offence.
“The fight will continue,” said Rajwant Singh, a gay who admitted that the judgments leave a negative impression in the society about gay relationships that leads to social discrimination.
“There is no point giving up now when we have come so far. Thinking that parliament will address this issue when there are three months to go for an election would be naive. So, in such extreme conditions we continue to stay stronger and together,” said Singh, who is secretly married to his partner.
Bollywood actress Celina Jaitly too voiced her opinion using Twitter.
“I hope parliament will address the issue and all parties will come together to uphold the constitutional guarantee of life & liberty #377,” she tweeted.
Lawyer Harish Salve found the apex court dismissal of the review petition “unsurprising”.
“SC has dismissed a review petition against the Sec. 377 petition. Unsurprising. why did the govt which felt so strongly not change the law?” he tweeted.
“A judgment which is based on an assumption that same sex partners are a minority – and treats that as a ground to uphold Sec. 377,” he added.
“Fundamental right to freedom of choice and conscience is to protect those in minority from majoritarianism,” he tweeted.