Justices Won't Review Challenges to Mississippi's Anti-Gay Law

SC's decision to reconsider its 2013 decision on section 377 Everything that has happened so far

The Supreme Court reversed the HC verdict in December 2013 and upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC, while giving the power to the legislature to formulate a law on homosexuality.

With the apex court referring the matter to a larger bench, here is a quick recap of the controversial law's recent history through five must-know latest developments.

By rejecting the cases, the top court leaves in place a federal appeals court decision that allowed the 2016 law to take effect.

The Supreme Court is refusing to hear challenges to a MS law that allows businesses and government employees to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs.

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The court is also seized of a curative petition filed by Naz Foundation Trust, the non-governmental organization (NGO) that had originally filed a lawsuit in the Delhi high court in 2001. This also has implications for heterosexuals, as consensual sexual acts of adults - oral and anal sex in private - are now treated as unnatural and punishable under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. "The time has come that either the courts must read down Section 377 or the government should repeal it from the IPC". The three-judge bench took their knowledge views expressed in another judgment in August, which gave the right to privacy the status of a fundamental right. The apex court had concluded that privacy included at its core the preservation of personal intimacies and that sexual orientation was an essential attribute of privacy. The SC decision will definitely strengthen arguments for decriminalisation of homosexuality. "Because of that, we are pleased that the Supreme Court declined to take up these baseless challenges, which misrepresented the law's sole objective of ensuring that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union". "Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law, but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution", the bench observed. A promising sign, the Court also asked the government to respond to a petition from five LGBTQ people who said they live in fear of police due to their identities. The petitioners said they live in constant fear of police action due to their sexual preferences.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused an important hearing concerning fighting anti-LGBTQ law. It also asked the Centre to include them in the OBC quota.

At first, the incoming law was blocked by a federal judge in MS back in 2016, the same year the law was signed, but the 5 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that.

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