Debate: The Gay Sex Debate - 7

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Debate: The Gay Sex Debate - 7

by TIMES NOW 9:16 mins

Debate: The Gay Sex Debate - 7

by TIMES NOW 9:16 mins

In a big blow to the LGBT community, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (December 11) set aside a landmark Delhi High Court judgement decriminalising gay sex and threw the ball into Parliament's court for amending law, a verdict that came under attack as being "medieval and regressive". The judgement of the two-judge bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi revives the penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with life imprisonment in a setback to people fighting a battle for recognition of their sexual preferences.The much-awaited verdict, reversing the four-year-old High Court judgement, drew sharp criticism from gay rights activists, constitutional experts, including Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, and Bollywood celebrities who termed it a "black day" and a "lost opportunity" for the apex court to expand the constitutional values. Government reacted cautiously to the apex court nudge saying it it would "exercise" the prerogative of making laws. Upholding the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC relating to "unnatural sex", a bench also comprising S J Mukhopadhya, said the provision cannot be struck down merely on the apprehension of its misuse or changing perception of society. The bench, however, put the ball in the court of Parliament to decide on "the desirability" and "propriety" of doing away with the penal provision. The bench allowed the appeals filed by various social, religious and child rights organisations challenging the high court verdict on the ground that gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country. The apex court also said that foreign judgements on the controversial issues cannot be applied "blindfolded" in India for scrapping the penal provision against gay sex. The apex court refused to give credence to the the submission made by the gay rights activists who had challenged Section 377 on the ground that it perpetrate harassment, blackmail and torture on certain persons, especially those belonging to the LGBT community.In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Pooja Bedi, Actor; Parmesh Shahani, Associate Vice President, Godrej Industries; Pallav Patankar, Director, Humsafar Trust; Suhel Seth, Managing Partner, Counselage v/s Adv Sanjeev Punalekar, Speaker & Advisor, Sanatan Sanstha; Purshottam Mulloli, Social Activist; Dr Abraham Mathai, President, Indian Christian Voice -- discuss whether India's Parliament can recognise the fact that time has come to move on from our prejudices.

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