An analysis on LGBTQIA+ rights in India

Author: Sanjana.S, Student, Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad, India


The decriminalization of section 377 was not an overnight decision. It was the result of constant struggle and battle for over two decades by the members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. Despite this landmark judgement by the Supreme Court, the gay community in India faces discrimination in numerous subtle ways. The mindset of the people has changed to a large extent but there still exists a proportion of people even today who view homosexuality as a taboo. Unlike today, homosexuality was viewed as something completely normal. The fact that homosexuality is mentioned very explicitly in various ancient scriptures, Hijra goddesses being worshipped, and the mention of transgender characters in epics such as the Mahabharata are some of the examples that makes it very evident that homosexuality was viewed as something normal back in those days and equal rights and respect was given to them in the Pre colonial Hindu society. However, during the Mughal regime, the Mughals imposed strict punishments on people who were homosexuals. In the first section of the text, the research reviews how homosexuality was viewed by the Pre-Colonial Indian society and how the members of the LGBTQIA+ community was viewed as equals in the society. Furthermore, the article continues to closely examine the struggle for decriminalizing section 377 over a decade in the contemporary times in order to decriminalize homosexuality in India and to achieve equal rights just as the straight people in India.

The second part of the text analyses various aspects of LGBTQIA+ rights in India as of 2019. There are various aspects of inequality between the straight population and the gay population of India. The article has mainly focused on four aspects of inequality that the LGBTQIA+ community in India faces/used to face. They are- The right to perform sexual activities among homosexuals, Marriage rights for the LGBTQIA+ community in India, Adoption and surrogacy rights for the LGBTQIA+ community and employment rights for the LGBTQIA+ community in India. The paper has also gauged public opinion regarding the aforementioned aspects to examine the views of the general public through a Google form survey.

In totality, the paper aims to answer the question: even after the decriminalization of section 377, are the members of the LGBTQIA+ community enjoying equal rights just as the straight people population in India?

Keywords: Homosexuality, LGBTQIA+ Community, decriminalization, transgender, gay, employment rights

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An analysis on LGBTQIA+ rights in India
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