Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises homosexuality. It states that “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine” This law was set in the year 1860.
In 2009, Delhi High Court decriminalised gay sex between consenting adults, a move welcomed by the LGBTQI community. But in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned this judgement and said that such amendments to the section must be made only by the Parliament and not the judicial system.
Not only has this law made it difficult for homosexual people to be open about their sexual orientation and relationships, but it has also made it very difficult for victims of rape to get justice. Many won’t even file a report because they are scared that they will be arrested for being homosexual. What we should remember is that being homosexual is not a crime, but having “unnatural sex” or gay sex is a crime. We should not punish those who were raped and abused when it is not their fault.
A researcher from India’s top institute was raped by another man, but he could not file an FIR because of the fear of backlash from the police and the community. His friend shared this story on his timeline.
“My friend was drugged, raped and assaulted today. However, he can’t report it to the police or he will be arrested with the rapist as well. Why? Because he’s a gay and he aspired for love and affection in a society that outlaws it for people like him
He’s a researcher at a top institution of India, he is also a screenplay writer and a poet, but nope, all that matters is his sexual orientation
I can only imagine the frustration, the anger, the helplessness he feels right now. Not only was his rights to his body breached, but his rapist gets to walk away free and continue with his heinous crimes without a single repercussion.
Oh and this wasn’t done by a lurker in one of those shady, isolated streets. The criminal is another student of the same prestigious university. Seems Delhi is equally unsafe for some men, but they don’t even legally have a voice
Laws in India can be damn funny at times.”
From the timeline of Arnav Barbaad: