Sec 377 no more in India, will the bigoted law maker’s perception on Indo-Nepal bilateral relations change? 

Kathmandu/Pahichan – Nepal made much progress to ensure rights of sexual and gender minority communities in Nepal through social, political and legal changes. The constitution of Nepal has guaranteed the rights of equality and identity of sexual and gender minority. However, newly promulgated civil and criminal codes failed to reflect the same spirit, which denies rights to (same-sex) marry for sexual and gender minority citizens. Along with few (il)logic, one particular (il)logic made by a bigoted yet influential law maker(who was part of civil and criminal code drafting team) was: “India does not accept homosexuality, so if we legalize it (same-sex marriage), this could affect bilateral relation.”

Now, not long after Nepal’s civil and criminal codes were implemented, Indian court made this historic verdict on Thursday. On September 6, the Supreme Court of India delivers final judgement on the legality of Sec 377 that criminalized homosexuality up until yesterday. “LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen. Respect for each other’s rights and others are supreme humanity. Criminalizing gay sex is irrational and indefensible”, observes CJI Dipak Misra. The Supreme Court of India (SC) on Thursday made it clear that homosexuality is not a crime. The Indian SC decriminalized sex between two consenting adults of same gender in private under section 377. There was the consensus among all judges of the bench on this very issue.

What is in 377 section of Indian Penal Code (IPC):
Section 377 of the IPC states: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1[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 archaic British law dates back to 1861 and criminalizes sexual activities against the order of nature.

The beginning of Penal code:
In 1861 Section 377 was introduced by the British Raj in India to IPC. The section was drafted in 1838 by Thomas Macaulay and was brought into effect in 1860. It was modeled on the Buggery Act of 1533 and it states ‘buggery’ is an unnatural sex act which goes against nature, God and man’s will. The act criminalizes anal penetration, bestiality, and homosexuality.

Though India got independence from British colony in 1947, LGBTI community got true independence from British colonial law, that demonized LGBTI communities for centuries, only on Thursday the 06/09/2018. The verdict will play a vital role to protect and promote LGBTI rights not only in India but also across the Globe.

Now, As Scc377 is no more, the bigoted law maker of Nepal can not make such foolish argument anymore, thanks to yesterday’s judgement from Supreme Court of India. Time for Nepal to take another step forward and ensure equal rights of LGBTIs by amending these new civil and criminal codes which are against the constitution and against the directive order of Nepal’s supreme court in 2007’s historic judgement.