HC verdict on gay sex has helped LGBT

Published: February 21, 2012

There has been greater societal acceptance and decrease in police harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community after the Delhi High Court’s landmark verdict of banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, said a study.

The research conducted over a period of  six months, by Haryana-based Jindal Global Law School has found that decriminalisation of gay sex led to "increased self- confidence" of LGBT members and there has been a positive impact of the verdict.

"There is a growing societal acceptance for gay, MSM and kothi men in the mainstream society.

“Many respondents (LGBT members) stated that the societal perception of homosexuals is changing and people were treating them with respect," said another report from the study.

The Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by anti-gay rights groups challenging the Delhi High Courts’s verdict. Therefore the study holds significance.

Earlier gay sex was an offence under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code punishable up to life imprisonment. The Delhi High Court decriminalised the act among consenting adults done in private.

The study reveals that police harassment has substantially reduced among MSM outreach workers, the report said. Mainstream and social media and movies have also played a vital part in making LGBT acceptable.

The study began in February 2011 and comprised face to face interviews with 32 members of the LGBT community. A copy of preliminary interviews was filed as a part of the intervention by the legal academics in the Supreme Court, said Professor Dipika Jain, author of the study.

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