Supreme Court of India rules sexual orientation is a fundamental right

Indian’s Supreme Court passed a judgement last week declaring LGBTQ people have the right to express their sexual orientation without discrimination. The nine judges ruled that freedom to express sexual orientation was inherent in the fundamental right to privacy.

“Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform”, reads the judgment.

In the historic ruling, the judges also mentioned that the rights of LGBTQ people are as sacred as those conferred on other citizens and that protection of these rights lies at the core of the Indian constitution.

The High Court of Delhi had decriminalized homosexuality in India, but it was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 2013. This judgement by the Court has given LGBTQ advocates new hope. “The remarks are going to have a huge impact on the hearing of our petitions which will come up soon. Yes we are winning,” said Anand Grover, who represents Naz Foundation.

This is a pivotal moment in the work Victory Institute and our partner in India, Solidarity Foundation, are doing to train LGBTIQ leaders to become more effective advocates and run for public office. Our program participants have been leading the movement in their communities, including meeting with elected officials to discuss LGBTQ issues.  By having more out LGBTQ elected officials in office, we can ensure regressive laws and polices don’t go unchallenged and push for progressive values.