Author: Manav Duggal, Student at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
On September 6, 2018 the apex court of India passed a revolutionary judgement that decriminalized consensual sexual intercourse between adults of the same sex. Soon after, the 105-page judgement was analyzed threadbare by the community of academics, lawyers and policymakers. The common theme amongst most of these writings was a glimmer of hope that this decision would act as a guiding light and would pave the way for other legislations to finally become more inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ community. While the judgement guaranteed important legal rights for the queer community, it opened a pandoras box and has given rise to various legal conundrums. However, almost three years down the line, it has become thoroughly clear that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was a rather small part of a much bigger problem. In spite of sexual intercourse between homosexuality being decriminalized, a host of laws continue to be antagonistic towards the community. The most significant reason behind this is the existence of a glaring gap between the legislative and the judicial development of LGBTQIA+ laws in the country. Despite the protection against discrimination instilled in the Constitution of India, the queer community continues to grapple with the blatant inequality meted out to them by some legislations. Some of these are laws pertaining to same-sex marriage and adoption. Thus, there is still a long way to go for the queer community in terms of securing important legal rights and a much longer way ahead to gain social acceptance. Despite the rush of activism that the country witnessed in the aftermath of the judgement passed in the case of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India the queer community is still struggling to create a non-binary society.