Section 377 verdict: Bigoted attitudes dehumanise transgenders, says CJI Misra

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The very existence of Section 377 IPC, criminalising transgenders, stigmatised an already oppressed and discriminated class of people, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who headed the Constitution Bench decriminalising homosexuality, wrote.

Bigoted and homophobic attitudes dehumanise transgenders by denying them their dignity, personhood and above all, their basic human rights.

“To change the societal bias and root out the weed, it is the foremost duty of each one of us to stand up and speak up against the slightest form of discrimination against transgenders that we come across. Let us move from darkness to light, from bigotry to tolerance and from the winter of mere survival to the spring of life — as the herald of a New India — to a more inclusive society,” the Chief Justice wrote in an opinion shared by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar on the Bench.

Stigma, oppression and prejudice against the transgender community have to be eradicated.

“Transgenders have to progress from their narrow claustrophobic spaces of mere survival, hiding in there with their isolation and fears, to enjoying the richness of living,” Chief Justice Misra observed.

The community should be allowed to walk out of the shadows in order to fully realise their potential.

The community should get equal opportunity in all walks of life, Chief Justice Misra said.