Queers say decriminalising consensual relations was a big step towards real freedom
Jamshedpur: Members of Jamshedpur Queer Circle today celebrated the 4th anniversary of striking down of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code by the Supreme Court. A number of members of the Jamshedpur Queer Circle gathered at Sakchi Roundabout with banners and celebrated the occasion.
The members of the Circle said that they are happy at the fact that consensual relations between two individuals do not amount to criminality in the country any more and now they can live happily under the protection of law.
They reminded everyone that on this day in the year 2018, the Supreme Court had struck down Section 377 of IPC and provided a much needed relief to the entire LGBT community.
The members of JQC said that there was happiness in the queer community all around on the the fourth anniversary of their day of emancipation. They said that they want everyone to be aware of the mammoth step taken in the direction of real freedom for everyone.
It may be recalled here that on September 6th, 2018, a five-judge Bench of SC had partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalising same-sex relations between consenting adults.
LGBT individuals are now legally allowed to engage in consensual intercourse. The Court has upheld provisions in Section 377 that criminalise non-consensual acts or sexual acts performed on animals.
The four judgments unanimously cited fundamental rights violations in reading down Section 377. They found that Section 377 discriminates against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, violating Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.
Further, they ruled that Section 377 violates the rights to life, dignity and autonomy of personal choice under Article 21.
Finally, they found that it inhibits an LGBTQ individual’s ability to fully realize their identity, by violating the right to freedom of expression under Article 19(1)(a).
However, Section 377 remains in force relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality.
It may be surprising for many, but Jamshedpur has always had a strong LGBT and queer community. Members of third gender as well as queer community have been living peacefully in the city for a long time.
Recently, a special mega camp was organized by the district administration for the members of the third gender.
This Special Mega Camp was organized specifically for the members of the third gender community by the district administration at Dhatkidih Community Center in Jamshedpur.
The DC announced 14 different types of welfare schemes for the people of the third gender community in the camp.
This camp was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner of the district, Vijaya Jadhav, herself. People from third gender from all over East Singhbhum district were present in the programme.
The administration announced that all members of the third gender would be issued with identity cards, Aadhar cards, ration cards, health check-up cards as well as voter cards.
While, all these cards were disbursed to the participants, the Deputy Commissioner also apprised them with different government facilities and projects that they can easily avail and assured them that the administration would construct separate toilets for them in different areas of the city.
She said that the persons from the third gender community can neither visit a male’s toilet nor a female’s and therefore it is important that separate toilets are constructed for them and she would ensure that this is done as soon as possible.
Jamshedpur is counted among the most third-gender friendly townships of the country.
Several factories in the city have been employing third gender for years without any discrimination.
Tata Steel has taken in persons from the third gender community as a special initiative and a number of them are now working in different departments of the company in Jamshedpur as well as other locations of the company.