Decriminalizing leads to legitimizing and then to equal rights?

In his insightful article, Shri Swapan Dasgupta says –

“If voluntary gay sex is deemed criminal, the law may as well attach the tag of criminality to adultery.”

But this post is not about sexual minorities.  It’s about a point I want to make on the Delhi High Court’s exercise of wisdom.

So section 377 was on the Indian Penal Code. It was a provision that was sometimes being used to harass such sexual minorities for monies and other favors.

Now if the High Court’s intention was to merely decriminalize “an” area of the said section that encompassed sexual minorities *but* not allow them equal rights as have heterosexual adults (Marriage, Adoption etc) – How could the learned judge have managed to balance this?

To decriminalize is to legitimize, is it not? And when you legally legitimize, how can you prevent rights? If not, then what separates something not legally criminal from becoming something legitimate? In my view this is the society’s function. The law itself had no role to play in the first place.

The best thing would have been to not disturb the hive. But then the hive was disturbed and now many bees are poised to sting.

– Namaste


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