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Will Supreme Court ruling on Section 377 change India’s social attitude? (Hindustan Times)
September 6, 2018
By Dhrubo Jyoti, Roshan Kishore
From the full article:
Urvi was in Class 6 when she realised she didn’t identify with the gender assigned to her at birth. But confusion and fear of abuse and humiliation stopped her from telling her mother. She had lost her father early and the only other person she could turn to was her sister. “She was not alright with my gender identity,” says the 21-year-old engineering student, who was a part of the petitions against Section 377 in the Supreme Court.
Thursday brought her cheer. “I called my sister, and she had seen the news, and read articles, and said, ‘I am so happy for you people’; I think she was convinced by my academic achievements,” adds Urvi, who has received two prestigious national science fellowships and used a different name in the petition.
But how does a change in law help in shifting social attitudes? A 2017 study by Charles Kenny and Dev Patel at the Centre for Global Development found that in the last three decades, the proportion of the world that report they do not want to live next to a gay or lesbian individual has dropped by about 10 percentage points. Over the same period, more than 50 countries have legalised same sex relationships. This suggests both that attitudes inform legal change but also that policymakers can shift public opinion about beliefs through legal reform.