Supreme Court Allows Mississippi Law Protecting Gay Marriage Dissenters to Stand

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by five people- Navtej Johar Sunil Mehra Aman Nath Ritu Dalmia and Ayesha Kapoor

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by five people- Navtej Johar Sunil Mehra Aman Nath Ritu Dalmia and Ayesha Kapoor

However, in December 2013, the Supreme Court quashed the 2009 Delhi High Court order allowing gay sex and reinstated criminalisation of homosexuality. "Any decision that the Supreme Court takes in sync with the jurisprudential developments on gay rights the world over would be welcome", BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said.

In the 2013 judgment, the two judge bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya had argued that in 150 years, less than 200 persons had been prosecuted under Article 377.

Section 377, modelled on a 16th-century British law, bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal", and is punishable by life imprisonment.

Senior lawyer Harish Salve on Monday said that section 377 of IPC will soon be struck down by the apex court.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to reconsider its 2013 decision that criminalises consensual sex between same sex adults and referred the matter to a larger bench, a victory for equal rights campaigners.

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"This latest punt on LGBTQ rights by the nation's highest court promotes state-stationed discrimination by upholding a law that allows hotels, ER doctors, business owners, and even pediatricians to legally deny services to hardworking LGBTQ families in MS", said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. The petitioners had told the court they were living in constant fear of police action due to their sexual orientation. In addition to the advocacy and discussion that followed that setback, subsequent rulings in favor of transgender equality and, most recently, establishing privacy as a fundamental right have help set the stage for the Court to revisit the law.

We will keep fighting in MS until we overturn this harmful law, and in any state where anti-gay legislators pass laws to roll back LGBT civil rights.

In the April 2014 verdict, hailed by gender rights activists, the apex court directed the government to declare transgenders a "third gender" along with male and female.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit organization that is part of the legal team representing Gov. Phil Bryant in the cases, argued that the MS law had been misinterpreted. Underlining the need to bring them into the mainstream, the verdict by a bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said transgenders should have all rights under the law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession, and inheritance.

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