Removing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code
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I stand with you, and I know, we stand together against discrimination whether it be against women, in the LGBTQ community or against any caste or religion. Up until recently, homosexuality was synonymous with the word ‘abomination’ and to many people, it still is. On 10th december, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the universal declaration of human rights. It states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” Yet, forward to 2017, the UN Human Rights Council expresses grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 72 countries, same sex relationships are criminalised in violation of basic rights. However, the tide is turning, and since 1990, almost 40 countries have legalised same-sex relationships. Many more have lawfully banned discrimination against LGBTQ people, since more and more countries now recognise the urgency.
Unfortunately, India isn’t one of these countries. The discrimination being faced by the members of the LGBTQ community in India is a serious issue. They are targets of hate and brutal acts of violence. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code encourages this discrimination by criminalising homosexuality. Section 377 labels innocent citizens as criminals only for having a different sexual orientation. We, as citizens of India, must work towards protecting the basic rights of the LGBT people. Getting rid of a hurdle like Section 377 will be a big step towards achieving this.
No longer should we sit in silence, we must stand for what we know is right, and that is equality and justice for all.
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