Delhi Pride | Photo: Flickr/Jesse Rapczak
India’s Supreme Court will decide tomorrow whether or not Section 377 of their Penal Code, which criminalizes gay sex, is legal or not.
The ruling determines if a fifth of the world’s population can have consenual and legal sex.
Here is everything to know about Section 377, including its history and journey to repeal. It was first established in 1861 under British law, and the movement to repeal it started gaining real momentum in 2009.
Under this law, anyone who voluntarily has ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal’ shall be punished. Punishments include life in prison, or a prison term up to ten years and a fine.
According to the Times of India, the Supreme Court reserved to issue a verdict in July. A few months earlier, they heard a plea from the Indian Institute of Technology’s LGBT alumni association against the code.
They gave a strong indication, however, their preference for doing away with Section 377.
They allegedly believe discrimination against the LGBTI community will decrease if it is overturned.
The closest the country ever came to decriminalizing it was in 2013. That year, the Delhi high court voted in favor of decriminalization. A two-judge Supreme Court bench, however, reversed the ruling later that year.
India’s gay prince, Manvendra Singh Gohil, believes the Supreme Court will rule in favor of decriminalization.