The Right to be Public: India’s LGBT Movement Builds an Argument about Privacy

16 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2019

See all articles by Mayur Suresh

Mayur Suresh

University of London - School of Law

Date Written: November 20, 2019


The 2018 India Supreme Court judgment that decriminalised consensual homosexual sexual behaviour was not a product of single petition; nor were the arguments presented to the courts the creation of individual lawyers. The judgment and the constitutional arguments that were presented were produced by the LGBT movement. The LGBT movement was a jurisgenerative community that, in arguing that s. 377 was unconstitutional, produced constitutional arguments. One of these arguments was the right to privacy. This position has been criticised by critics within the LGBT movement as being one that is elitist and male – the demographic that most likely have access to physical private spaces. Instead, this article argues, what the LGBT movement actually produced was a right to be public. The right to privacy was not aimed at separating one’s space from society. It was to stake a claim to live a full life, within the public sphere.

Suggested Citation

Suresh, Mayur, The Right to be Public: India’s LGBT Movement Builds an Argument about Privacy (November 20, 2019). Australian Journal of Asian Law, 2019, Vol 20 No 1, Article 7: 87-101, Available at SSRN:

Mayur Suresh (Contact Author)

University of London - School of Law ( email )

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