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 that banned consensual unnatural sex between adults.
Here are some of the petitioners:
Gautam Yadav: He is a Delhi-based programme officer with the NGO Humsafar Trust. Aged 27, his petition talks about how he faced bullying in school, which forced him to drop out at 15. He also details how he was a victim to threats of extortion based on his sexual orientation, and continues to face ridicule from his relatives for not being married, despite being in a committed relationship.
Ritu Dalmia: She is a Delhi-based chef who identifies as lesbian and is the owner of the restaurant chain, Diva. She filed the petition after the Supreme Court reversed the Delhi High Court’s judgment on Section 377, reinstating the law that criminalised consensual same-sex relations between adults.
Keshav Suri: He is an executive director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality group, which owns The Lalit hotel. He filed a petition earlier this year. Suri said the shooting in Pulse in Orlando (a nightclub in Florida where a June 2016 shooting left 49 people dead, many of whom were gay) was his “personal and professional awakening”.
Urvi: She is a research intern at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and belongs to Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. Urvi, who uses a different name in the petition, is a transgender woman and has struggled with poverty since childhood.
Arif Jafar: He is founder of the NGO Bharosa Trust in Lucknow. He was arrested under Section 377 in July 2001 and was in jail for 47 days. During the imprisonment, he says he was abused, tortured and humiliated. His case still drags on.
Akkai Padmashali: He is a transgender rights activist and filed a petition in the Supreme Court against Section 377 in 2016 along with two other transgender women, saying their right to privacy was being curbed under the law. Padmashali has been at the forefront of documenting and protesting the impact of the law on transgender people.
Countries where same-sex relations are legal
Australia, Netherland, USA, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Argentina, Denmark, Uruguay, New Zealand, France, Brazil, England, Scotland, Luxemberg , Finland, Ireland, Greenland, Columbia, Germany and Malta.