Black Day 11/12/13
This is a brief description of the law (Indian Penal Code Section 377) the Indian Supreme Court just brought back, effectively REcriminalizing the Indian LGBT community. That we are shocked and dismayed is not saying enough.
But we will not be beaten back into closets, we will not go back in to suffocating silence that has proved both damaging and unproductive. We are taking back our rights, and tomorrow’s rallies all across the world are just the beginning.
WE ARE HERE. WE ARE QUEER. Hear us roar.
Section 377 Alert:
Six things you should know after the Supreme Court verdict on Section 377, Indian Penal Code:
a) On December 11, 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Delhi High Court ruling on Section 377, which means this law is back in force, as it was till before July 2, 2009.
b) Section 377 criminalizes any sexual act that does not involve penile-vaginal penetration. It applies to all people, irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation. That means straight people are also affected by this law, and not just those who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender in orientation.
c) Section 377 in itself does not mean that you can be arrested for simply being or saying you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Hijra or Kothi. Your freedom of expression is not under threat.
d) Arrest under this law requires medical forensic evidence of specific sexual acts having taken place – oral, anal or other non penile-vaginal sexual acts.
e) You cannot be arrested for being in a declared or undeclared same-sex relationship. Strict material evidence of specific sexual acts will be necessary for arrest.
f) Community, family, workplace or police harassment, blackmail and extortion may take place under threat of Section 377 or even because you appear or are known to be “not straight”. But more than anything else, it is these acts that are illegal and they can be tackled with a dose of courage and sound legal action