6 Outrageous Things I Heard In Favour Of Section 377 On Last Day Of Hearing

From comparing homosexuals to terrorists to saying homosexuality leads to AIDS, 6 outrageous statements made in favour of Section 377

Today was the last hearing determining the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Last week, petitioners put up some well-researched and informed arguments against the archaic law but today was just the antithesis of that. Lawyers speaking in defence of Section 377 brought references from everywhere — from Rig Veda and Manusmriti to the Bible — in hope that Section 377 won’t be struck down.

Here’s a sample of 6 outrageous statements that were heard today in favour of Section 377:

1. People aren’t born gay
Manoj George, the lawyer representing Christian organizations including Apostolic Churches Alliance, perhaps tried being serious but he couldn’t help but make the judges sigh a little when he quoted some report which says sexual orientation is not defined at birth. He also tried quoting some other sources which CJI Dipak Misra quickly dismissed by saying that they were ‘hate websites’.

manoj george radhakrishnan

Advocates Manoj George and KS Radhakrishnan

2. Unchecked homosexuality leads to spread of HIV/AIDS
The seemingly best argument George came up with before recess was that decriminalising gay sex may lead to spread of HIV/AIDS, which immediately turned light atmosphere in the courtroom a bit sombre. Sr Advocate Radhakrishnan later reiterated the same, however, the judges later responded by saying that if it were the case, sex between men and women should also be banned because that can also spread HIV and also brought in the issue of safe sex.

3. Rapes have increased after live-in relationships made legal
The respondents came up with a seemingly bogus argument by stating that rapes increased after live-in relationships were made legal, seemingly to imply the consequences of striking down Section 377.

LGBT community

4. Homosexuals are like terrorists
Radhakrishnan further tried to argue against Right to Privacy judgement concerning Section 377 by saying that even terrorists could not claim privacy when caught, thereby equating homosexuals to terrorists. His comparisons sparked quite an outrage on social media.

5. Who cares about women?
HP Sharma, on behalf of another intervenor, claimed that women do not come under the purview of Section 377 as it only concerns penetrative sex. He also claimed that ‘transsexuals are attracted to men for the purpose of fulfilling their carnal desires’. This was quickly dismissed by the CJI who said that he needs to take a broader view of sex.


Photo: PTI

6. Consent can be obtained through ‘fear of death’
Manoj George first argued that Section 377 should not be struck down because there was no provision of consent in the particular section. When the Supreme Court justices argued that the provision can be included, George simply backtracked much to the frustration of people present in the courtroom. His argument that consent may also be obtained through ‘fear of death’ was quickly shot down by Justice Nariman who asserted that ‘consent is not free’.

However, the judges countered the arguments sensibly. Justice Rohinton F Nariman even stated that if ‘order of nature’ cannot be defined, they will strike down Section 377. The Supreme Court, for now, has reserved the judgement and is waiting for written submissions by concerned parties.