Supreme Court allows MS anti-LGBT law to stand

09 January, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was responding to a fresh petition brought by a group of five persons of the LGBT community

Some religious conservatives are celebrating the Supreme Court's decision regarding the law, which was strongly supported by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. But, now, with the Apex Court deciding to revisit its decision, there is a renewed hope among the members of the LGBT community.

Senior lawyer Harish Salve on Monday said that section 377 of IPC will soon be struck down by the apex court. The bench was hearing a fresh plea filed by one Navtej Singh Johar seeking to declare section 377 as unconstitutional to the extent that it provides prosecution of adults for indulging in consensual gay sex.

The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in a legal fight over a MS law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.

The ban on homosexual sex was overturned by the Delhi high court in 2009 but was reinstated by the supreme court four years later in a judgment that drew widespread condemnation, including from the United Nations. "You can't put in jail two adults who are involved in consenting unnatural sex", Datar said and referred to a recent nine-judge bench judgment in the privacy matter to highlight the point that the right to choose a sexual partner was part of fundamental right. "We are asking for constitutional rights given to any citizen in the country", said Koninika Roy from the Humsafar Trust that works with LGBT community.

"As I have said from the beginning, this law was democratically enacted and is perfectly constitutional".

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Regarding the high court's refusal, social liberals like Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis denounced the decision, arguing that this "means that LGBTQ Mississippians will continue to face harassment and discrimination". Littrell says that now that the Supreme Court has declined to take up the case, she believes more LGBT individuals will be tangibly harmed by state officials, religious organizations and service providers.

Elated over the decision, an LGBT Activist said,"We need to welcome it. Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law, but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution", the bench observed.

He said the law's only goal was guaranteeing "that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union".

What's the Supreme Court verdict on transgenders? It also asked to include them in the OBC quota.

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