Mumbai: Corporate India has come out in full support of the Supreme Court judgement decriminalizing sexual relations between consenting homosexual adults.

“From today we are no longer in the fringe and finally we are out of the shadows," said Keshav Suri, executive director, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group. Suri has been a vocal gay rights campaigner and was one of the petitioners in the case.

Inclusivity, diversity and being gender-neutral is an important part of people policy and workplace culture for conglomerates like Godrej Group, Tata group and RPG Enterprise.

“We should live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity. Human beings are human beings......let’s treat everyone like that. A great victory for justice! #Section377Verdict," Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG Enterprises, said on Twitter.

At Godrej Group, there already are well-defined equal opportunities and gender neutral anti-harassment policies, which protect the rights of its LGBT+ team members. “This is a historic judgement for India which will encourage many more companies to push the agenda on inclusion at the workplace," said Sumit Mitra, head, group human resources and corporate services, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies.

“This has huge ramifications for corporate India," said Anubhuti Banerjee, manager analytics and insights (marketing and sales), at Tata Steel and lead, Wings, the employee resource group at the firm that represents LGBT rights.

A lack of clarity on the legal issues meant there was always a dichotomy among the management on whether it’s okay for companies to come out and support LGBT+. “This judgement would have made it a lot easier for me when I was trying to bring in LGBT+ policies in my organisation. They were supportive to start an employee resource group," she said.

The Royal Bank of Scotland was among the first companies to introduce a medical cover for same-sex partners. “We see this as just the beginning of more job opportunities for the community," said Anuranjita Kumar, managing director and head HR, international hubs, The Royal Bank of Scotland.

With inputs from Rashmi Memon and Bidya Sapam.

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