This Article is From Dec 11, 2013

Vikram Seth, Milind Deora on Supreme Court verdict on homosexuality: Highlights

Vikram Seth, Milind Deora speak to NDTV on Supreme Court verdict on homosexuality.

Below are the highlights:

Vikram Seth:

  • Today is a great day for prejudice and inhumanity
  • Bad day for law and love
  • Law develops and love is resilient
  • prejudice and inhumanity will be beaten back
  • Law and love will prevail
  • Judgement is a disgrace
  • There was the habeas corpus judgement during the emergency where a full bench of the Supreme Court brought disgrace upon the institution by taking away the fundamental rights of the citizens 
  • In this case I felt it was incumbent on me to speak out clearly. The fact is so many of us live in countryside and small towns... and live lives of quiet desperation... even trying to come to terms with themselves 
  • How could the judges have taken away the rights, prerogatives, dignities of 5 per cent of 50 million Indians who were not criminals yesterday but are criminals today?
  • If a man has consensual oral sex with his wife, he can be sent to life imprisonment or 10 yrs or be liable to fine.
  • But this law is used to target gay men and women
  • Not only love, decency, humanity and constitutionality that has lost today but also the law. I wasn't a criminal yesterday but I'm certainly a criminal today and I do not propose to take the permission of their lordships on who to love or who to make love with.
  • We have all lost as Indians today
  • Stain on the judiciary. There is a barbarsim in treating choices of consenting adults as a crime.
  • Today is a great day for prejudice. But today the law has lost, but love will prevail.

Milind Deora:

  • Saddened by the verdict
  • Reason I supported the High Court judgement in 2009 was because at a personal level I'm a social liberal myself
  • Nobody should regulate someone's sexual preferences and what happens inside their homes
  • I was also very closely associated to UN working for gay rights
  • Very sad with the SC order
  • Hope political fraternity gets together and sends out a message that we will continue to be a liberal democracy
  • I can only be hopeful that Parliament will legislate and decriminalize homosexuality all over again
  • Appeal to religious leaders. It's not just about homosexuality, it's a larger message
  • It's about do you want to discriminate at all, why should you discriminate between anyone based on their sexual preferences
  • Globally, countries that believe in social liberties and freedom of expressions are decriminalizing homosexuality
  • Political leaders should do what is right, send out a larger message that India should be a pluralistic society and not discriminate