Bhopal Against 377

Condemning the Supreme Court Judgement upholding IPC Section 377, Bhopal Groups demand a just society irrespective of caste, class, gender and sexual orientation.

On 15th December, 2013 a protest was organised by groups in Bhopal and a statement against the SC ruling was released and read out by various people participating in the protest.

We are outraged by the regressive decision of the Supreme Court to uphold IPC Section 377. Section 377 criminalizes same-sex relations between consenting adults and is in violation of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution and an assault on the democratic rights of all citizens of India. Section 377 falls under the category of other draconian laws that take away the constitutional rights of citizens like ASFPA, UAPA, POTA etc.

It is indeed disappointing that when the State and the Judicary should be working towards protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens whether it is against the corporate loot and land grab, or againt religious, caste and gender based violence or from the bigotry of the moral brigade, it is instead moving towards making its citizens even more vulnerable to fascist and neo- libral forces. Upholding of 377 is a move towards the same direction. By taking away rights from citizens who identify as LGBTQH (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Hijra) this law leads to their further discrimination & sanctions violence against a community which is already marginalized by society.

The State or Judicary are bound by the constitution and cannot limit the right to life and self expression of any individual or individual group, unless it violates the rights of someone else. The sexual expression of consenting adults does not in any way impinge on the rights of others.

Many citizens are struggling in the country for the right to life and livelihoods, workers are still fighting for minimum wages, women and people of different genders are facing sexual assault on the streets, within families, in jails and in combing operations and places of work. Many of the poor are being displaced and also face police a harassment on a daily basis. The LGBTQH community while standing for the rights of all people over their own bodies, gender identities and sexualities, also places itself in solidarity with these groups and it is from this place of solidarity that we will continue to struggle for a just society.

Today asking for the repeal of Section 377 is not just about standing up for personal choices but also as a political issue and an issue of social justice. The struggle of all progressive forces in the country is to move towards a socially just society where people will not be exploited and discriminated against on the basis of caste, class, gender or sexual orientation.

Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch (MPMM), Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) Madhya Pradesh, Ektara Collective, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Vikas Samvad, All India Revolutionary Students Organisation (AIRSO), Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog

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