State versus Sexuality: Decriminalizing and Recriminalizing Homosexuality in the Postliberalized Context
2016. "State versus Sexuality: Decriminalizing and Recriminalizing Homosexuality in the Postliberalized Context", Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India, Jyoti Puri
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Delving into the second phase of the struggle against the antisodomy law (2006–13), the chapter juxtaposes the 2009 Delhi High Court ruling decriminalizing homosexuality and the 2013 Supreme Court decision recriminalizing it. The chapter begins with the decisive impact of Voices against Section 377, a coalition of Delhi-based groups, on the historic Delhi High Court ruling. Reading this decision alongside the apex court’s overruling, the chapter makes the case that the two judgments represent diverging views of the relationship between state and sexuality in postliberalized India. Thus the lower court seeks to reduce the reach of the state, except that it does so by deploying an individualized, assimilationist, and transnational rights regime. Turning to the Supreme Court 2013 pronouncement, the analysis comes to grips with the ways it too is shaped by the imperatives of postliberalization. In contrast to the lower court’s vision, the apex court seeks to reaffirm the state and prolong governance through legislative intrusions into the realm of sexuality.