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22nd Sept., 2018

LGBT community finally finds safe, friendly home

Jayesh and Abhra are gay but are not a couple. They are just like anyone in Mumbai looking for rental but whose quest for a physical shelter and a genial flatmate had routinely come up against biased landlords, roommates and prying neighbours until they found each other as well as the sanctity of a secure home.

Jayesh and Abhra’s happy household where respectful strangers live like family owes itself to GHAR – short for Gay Housing Assistance Resource – a pan-India location-based, short and long term accommodation resource bulletin board that has been helping people from the LGBT community find access to safe and friendly housing with each other since 1998. What started as an e-group initiated by Mumbai’s Sachin Jain during the early days of the Internet now operates as a closed group on Facebook with over 5800 members from 15 cities on its database.

Ghar also found mention in the Supreme Court judgment after petitioners argued that Section 377 impeded LGBTs right to shelter and drew attention of the court to LGBTs seeking Ghar’s assistance “to access safe and suitable shelter… an indication that the members of this community are in immediate need of care and protection of the State”.

Sachin, 42 first sensed the need for urgent and temporary housing crisis for members of the LGBT community especially after coming-out or due to violence or intimidation when he was 20. “My roomie went through my stuff, turned aggressive, made mocking remarks and complained to our landlord.” he recalled. On speaking with other gay friends Sachin figured that discrimination on this front was rife. “The late Nineties were an interesting time for gay people. Internet and satellite had just come in and we were interacting with the global gay community,” explains Sachin.

Following the momentous Supreme Court ruling this month that struck down Section 377 of the IPC that criminalised gay sex, the queer community has had a lot to celebrate. However, the struggle for equal rights still continues. Vicky had to leave his home in Kolkata after his adoptive mother – who he came out to, a week after the verdict – told her son that he would have to find another place to live in because “there was no place for such behaviour in our household”.

It doesn’t matter whether they pay their rent on time and take good care of the property. Failure to meet pointed questions likes ‘Why aren’t you married?’ or instructions to tone down the voice or appearance may invite insults and an eviction notice.

Divyaroop, 25 couldn’t believe it when his landlady ordered him to stop painting his nails, keep his red head hidden under a cap and crashed his party before calling him names and driving him out. “It’s especially difficult when you look visibly different. My style is androgynous and I prefer male company. That doesn’t mean we’re having orgies at home,” says Divyaroop, who moved to Delhi last month. His posting on Ghar underlines the need for a landlord to let him make his own lifestyle choices.

Sadly, Divyaroop’s case is far from unique. The motif of dislocation and discrimination is something Ghar frequently encounters and combats with what Sachin calls an “inclusive ecosystem” that offers real time care and information. “Interestingly, in the past three years we’ve seen a lot of single and divorced women willing to share their apartment with queer folks,” he adds.

GAY YET NOT COUPLE: Jayesh and Abhra share a flat in Worli; India’s most queer-friendly cities are Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai

September 7, 2018

Homosexuality is not Crime: SC. Freedom to love anyone

INDEPENDENCE DAY-II

On 6/9/2018, at 12.25pm, the Supreme Court ushered India into the 21st century. With one stroke of judicial wisdom, the court flung the 1860 colonial law that criminalised homosexuality into the dustbin of history and wrote a new freedom song for lakhs of members of the LGBT community. Freedom to love anyone. Freedom from fear of persecution. Freedom to just be who you are. There are still many stern battles to be fought and won for LGBT rights. For the moment, though, let’s relish this milestone moment in India’s journey to being a modern, liberal and caring state
SC Decriminalises Sec 377, Calls 2013 Ruling ‘Arbitrary And Retrograde’

New Delhi:

Defanging a 158-year-old Victorian era law, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment on Thursday, legalised consensual sexual relations among gay adults by partially striking down Section 377 — a momentous event, perhaps the first step towards the gradual embrace of the LGBTQ community and hesitant acquiescence of alternative sexuality.

In the Suresh Koushal case, the SC had reversed a Delhi high court verdict which had decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults by reading down the controversial Section 377.

As it righted the error it made five years ago with yet another verdict which seeks to expand personal freedoms, the court invoked “transformative constitutionalism” and struck a confessional note, saying “history owed an apology to LGBTQ members and their families” for the wrongs inflicted on them.

In the four concurrent opinions cumulatively running into 493 pages that abhorred imposition of the majoritarian view on the LGBTQ community to snuff out their fundamental rights, Chief Justice Misra, writing for Justice Khanwilkar and himself, said targeting LGBTQ community members for their sexual preference violated their fundamental right to equality (Article 14), right to freedom of expression (Article 19) and right to choice coupled with right to dignity (Article 21).

‘Tough to right wrongs, but can set future course’

Section 377 IPC, so far as it penalises any consensual sexual relationship between two adults, be it homosexuals (man and man), heterosexuals (man and woman) or lesbians (woman and woman), cannot be regarded as constitutional. However, if anyone, by which we mean both a man and a woman, engages in any kind of sexual activity with an animal, the said aspect of Section 377 is constitutional and it shall remain a penal offence under Section 377 IPC,” the CJI said. The CJI, who read the judgment for Justice Khanwilkar and himself to begin the pronouncement of verdict, started by saying there were four separate but concurrent opinions. The tense anticipation inside the court melted the moment he said Section 377 was partially struck down to decriminalise gay sex.

Justice Nariman said, “Persons who are homosexuals have a fundamental right to live with dignity… We further declare that such groups (LGBTQ) are entitled to the protection of equal laws, and are entitled to be treated in society as human beings without any stigma being attached to any of them. We further direct that Section 377 insofar as it criminalises homosexual sex and transgender sex between consenting adults is unconstitutional.”

He directed the Centre to take all measures for wide publicity of the judgment at regular intervals through media and also initiate sensitisation programmes for society, government and police officials to “reduce and finally eliminate the stigma associated with such persons” by making them aware of the plight of the LGBTQ community.

Justice Chandrachud, who authored the lengthiest judgment at 181 pages, said it was axiomatic that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queer members continued to be denied a truly equal citizenship seven decades after Independence. “The law has imposed upon them a morality which is an anachronism. Their entitlement should be as equal participants in a society governed by the morality of the Constitution. That in essence is what Section 377 denies to them…” he said.

Justice Chandrachud was cited by colleague judges for laying the foundation for liberating the LGBTQ community from Section 377 as he, in the Puttaswamy judgment in August last year, had ruled that sexual orientation was part of right to life and indirectly said that the Suresh Koushal judgment was not in sync with constitutional ethos.

“It is difficult to right the wrongs of history. But we can certainly set the course for the future. That we can do by saying, as I propose to say in this case, that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders have a constitutional right to equal citizenship in all its manifestations. Sexual orientation is recognised and protected by the Constitution,” he said.

Justice Malhotra said, “History owes an apology to the members of this community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they suffered… The members of this community were compelled to live in fear… This was on account of the ignorance of the majority to recognise that homosexuality is a… natural condition, part of a range of human sexuality.

“The misapplication of… Section 377 denied them the fundamental right to equality guaranteed under Article 14. It infringed on the… the fundamental right to live a life of dignity and privacy guaranteed by Article 21…”

बालिगों के बीच सहमति से बने समलैंगिक संबंध अपराध नहीं

भास्कर न्यूज | नई दिल्ली

बालिगों के बीच सहमति से बने समलैंगिक संबंध अपराध नहीं माने जाएंगे। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने गुरुवार को आईपीसी की धारा 377 का वह हिस्सा असंवैधानिक घोषित कर दिया, जिसके तहत ऐसे संबंध अपराध माने गए थे। 158 साल से लागू कानून को कोर्ट ने समानता के अधिकार का उल्लंघन बताया। कहा कि सरकार व कानून को एलजीबीटी समुदाय की निजी जिंदगी में दखल का अधिकार नहीं है। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपना ही 5 साल पुराना फैसला पलटा है, जिसमें दिल्ली हाईकोर्ट का फैसला रद्द कर समलैंगिक संबंध फिर से अपराध की श्रेणी में डाले थे। संविधान पीठ ने कहा कि यौन रुझान बायोलॉजिकल हैं। इस पर रोक संवैधानिक अधिकारों का हनन है।
5 जजों की संविधान पीठ ने 4 फैसले पढ़े
उनका सम्मान करना चाहिए
एलजीबीटी समुदाय के पास वे सभी हक हैं, जो संविधान ने देश के हर नागरिक को दिए हैं। उनका सम्मान करना चाहिए। -सीजेआई दीपक मिश्रा ने अपना और जस्टिस एएम खानविलकर का 166 पेज का फैसला
यह मानसिक विकार नहीं
समलैंगिकता मानसिक विकार नहीं है। इसे संसद ने मान्यता दी है। केंद्र सरकार और मीडिया सुप्रीम कोर्ट के फैसले का व्यापक प्रचार करें ताकि एलजीबीटी समुदाय भेदभाव न झेले।
-जस्टिस आरएफ नरीमन ने 9 मिनट में 96 पेज का फैसला सुनाया।
संविधान पीठ ने कहा- एलजीबीटी की निजी जिंदगी में दखल का सरकार को अधिकार नहीं, इनको मिली यातनाओं के लिए इतिहास माफी मांगे
भविष्य तो बेहतर कर सकते हैं
 इतिहास नहीं बदल सकते। भविष्य बेहतर कर सकते हैं। ऐतिहासिक भेदभाव को यौन इच्छा और पसंद के अधिकार के आधार पर खत्म करने का वक्त आ गया है।
– जस्टिस डीवाई चंद्रचूड़ ने सबसे बड़ा 181 पेज का फैसला लिखा। 17 मिनट में पढ़ा।
बिना भेदभाव जीने का अधिकार
एलजीबीटी समुदाय की यातनाओं के लिए इतिहास को उनसे माफी मांगनी चाहिए। समलैंगिकता मानव लैंगिकता का हिस्सा है।समलैंगिकों को सम्मान के साथ बिना किसी भेदभाव के जीने का अधिकार है। – जस्टिस इंदु मल्होत्रा ने 50 पेज का फैसला लिखा।
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Categories: Constitution, Indian LawTags: , , , , ,

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