LGBT community suffers from psychological disability, needs counselling: Former SC judge

LGBT community suffers from psychological disability, needs counselling: Former SC judge

Nearly three months after the Supreme Court, in a historic verdict, decriminalised Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that violated rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT+) community, a former Supreme Court has said that the LGBT+ community suffers from “psychological disability”. Justice (retired) Gyan Sudha Misra, the judge who made this comment, said members of the LGBT+ community should be “given counseling”.

“According to me, this third gender, gay, lesbians, transgenders, is a psychological disability,” she said at an event on Saturday.

Drawing a corollary, she said that if a person is disabled, he can be given counseling and “shown the right path”. “To say that it was not a disability and to suppress it is wrong. It needs medication,” the former Supreme Court judge said, according to news agency PTI.

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Justice Gyan Sudha Misra was speaking at an event in New Delhi where former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra was also one of the speakers. The five-member Constitution bench that had delivered the historic verdict on September 6 this year was headed CJI Dipak Misra.

Disagreeing with Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, CJI Dipak Misra said liberty is a “permanent value” which cannot be “bartered” and any dilution of civil liberties will lead to disorder and anarchy.

“When the court struck it (provision criminalising homosexuality) down, various opinions were drafted but the basic was that you must have choice, dignity and autonomy,” he said.

Civil liberties are the cornerstone of the nation and their “dilution” will “lead to disorder anarchy”, he said, stressing that protection of civil rights should be the sole guiding force.

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Also among the speakers was former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. He said that the Supreme Court decision on consensual gay sex came as “society was ready” for it.

Importance of dissent

In his speech, CJI Dipak Misra also cautioned governments from encroaching upon civil liberties. He said that life is meaningless without liberty. “Life and liberty must welcome dissent, discord, disagreement. Without them life is a rose without fragrance,” he said.

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According to PTI, the former CJI also said that if anybody plays with the Constitution, “then he should know that he is compromising with the rights of his future generations”.

Quoting former US President Thomas Jefferson, CJI Misra said, “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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