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Supreme Court to review Section 377

Supreme Court to review Section 377

Criminalisation of gay sex was thrown into doubt again in August 2017 when the Supreme Court referred explicitly to the issue in a landmark ruling upholding the right to privacy.

The supreme court observed in 2013 that fewer than 200 people had been convicted for homosexual acts under the legislation but activists say it is regularly used to blackmail and intimidate LBGTI Indians as well as to stymie HIV/Aids prevention efforts.

The justices, without comment, turned away challengers to the law in Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant. "It has the potential to destroy individual choice and sexual orientation", adding that right to privacy means "I have a right to choose my sexual partner".

He said the law's only objective was guaranteeing "that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union".

The Barber challenge was brought by former Obama administration US solicitor general Donald Verrilli Jr., head of the Washington office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. This law very simply is a license to discriminate.

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Supporters call it a religious liberty law that protects the sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals and businesses.

The law was enacted in April 2016. The appellate judges did not rule on the law's substance.

Legal challenges prevented the law from going into effect until October, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided against considering an appeal of whether the law should stand.

Conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom is helping the state defend the law. It said that it was the job of the parliament to decide on scrapping laws. "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".


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