NEW DELHI: One of the petitioners in the Supreme Court on the Section 377 issue said the apex court verdict is a new dawn for the LGBT community which would no more feel like criminals and second class citizens.
A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the rights to equality.
Calling the change "historic", Ankit Gupta, an LGBT activist with the Humsafar Trust said the fight for equality continues and there is still a long way to go for it Another activist with the Humsafar Trust said the change has come after 18 years of suffering and what the community has gone through in these 18 years could not be expressed in words.
"Tomorrow when we wake up we would be able to look in the mirror and not see ourselves as a second class citizen or a criminal," he said.
"This is an opportunity to fight further for equality," he added.
The constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra termed the part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises consensual unnatural sex as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.