Supreme Court of India to revisit 2013 law criminalizing homosexuality, says law needs to be debated.

The Supreme Court of India announced on Monday that it will re-examine its controversial 2013 verdict criminalising gay sex responding to pleas of five petitioners who said that they were living in fear of being punished.

The law in question, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, is a law which dates back to the 1800s which criminalises “carnal intercourse with any man, woman or animal” stating that it is “against the order of nature” and anyone found practising it will be sentenced to life term or ten years of imprisonment and is also liable to pay a fine.

The top court bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Mishra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that the constitutional validity of the law needs to be debated upon by a larger bench, reopening the debate of homosexuality in India.

The bench said, “A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear. The determination of order of nature is not a constant phenomenon. Societal morality also changes from age to age. Law copes with life and accordingly changes take place.”

The bench also said “What is natural to one may not be natural to the other but the said natural orientation and choice cannot be allowed to cross the boundaries of law and as the confines of law curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

This comes after the ruling of a nine judge bench in August 2017 over the Right To Privacy in India stating that privacy is a fundamental right and that the right of sexual orientation also is an essential attribute of that right and that the rights of the LGBT population are “real rights founded on sound constitutional doctrine,” giving hope to the LGBTQ+ community in India. A senior lawyer told news agency ANI that, “Section 377 is dead after the nine judge bench which has said all these are dimension of Right to Privacy. It will formally be struck down soon. It will be done very soon.”

Soon after the news broke out, people were found talking about it on social media platforms. The hashtags “#Section377” and “#StrikeDown377” could be seen trending worldwide on Twitter. While a lot of people were in favour of the decision, some were against it too, saying “homosexuality is a disease.”

India’s stand on homosexuality at the UN is neither for nor against. If the Supreme Court decides to scrap Section 377 then India will become the 27th nation in the world to decriminalise gay sex.

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Stills of Pride Parades in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, etc.

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Women empowerment wins big at Golden Globes as Hollywood finally says #TimesUp

Almost all of Hollywood turned up at the 75th Golden Globe Awards dressed in black as a part of the Time’s Up initiative in support of people who have been sexually harassed at the workplace.

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Time’s Up logo

It was the night of the women as female-centric shows like ‘Big Little Lies’ scooped up most of the awards and Oprah became the first black woman to be honoured with the Cecil B DeMille Award.

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Oprah Winfrey accepting the Cecil B DeMille award

Seth Meyers, who was hosting the ceremony, spared no one in his opening monologue as he took a jab at Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women, the current situation in Hollywood with the Me Too and Time’s Up movement, and jokingly encouraged Oprah to run for President.

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The night’s host Seth Meyers

The night was packed with powerful speeches, all focused on women and the ongoing sexual assault scandal in Hollywood as Oprah delivered the most motivating and inspiring speech of the night, making the whole room cheer and give her a standing ovation. She said, “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!”

This sentiment was echoed by other winners of the night as Laura Dern, winner of best supporting actress and Nicole Kidman, winner of best actress, both for Big Little Lies, gave some power packed speeches. Laura Dern said, “Many of us were taught not to tattle. It was a culture of silencing, and that was normalized. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star.”

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Cast of Big Little Lies: Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley

It was not just about the winners as even the presenters of the night took a dig at the gender representation at the ceremony. Barbra Streisand expressed outrage at being the only female director to have won a Golden Globe back in 1984 while presenting. She said, “Folks, time’s up. We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for best director.”

Natalie Portman also made sure to address the issue subtly as she presented the award for best director by referring to the all-male nominees in the category. The gender wage gap issue was also highlighted as Geena Davis joked about how the men had agreed to give half their salary back so that the women can make more than them.

The night also saw men showing up in black tuxedos and wearing pins in support of the Time’s Up movement.

While movies like ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and shows like ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ won big, movies like ‘Get Out’ and ‘Dunkirk’ went home empty handed.