New Delhi: Homosexuality is not a mental or psychological disorder and it is a normal form of sexuality, gay rights activists argued before the Supreme Court on Thursday while pleading for decriminalization of gay sex.

They told a bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya that decriminalization of homosexuality would remove the stigma on them.

"Homosexuality is a normal form of sexuality. It is simply a normal variant of sexuality. It is not a mental and psychological disorder. Many gay and lesbian people are even raising children. Science says that people develop such orientation before they become adult. It develops between middle childhood and early adulthood," senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the gay rights organisation, said.

He further submitted that recently United Nations Human Rights Commissioner has placed his report before UN Assembly recommending quashing of all such legal provisions which criminalize homosexuality.

"In our society these things are not talked about. It is a dilemma for homosexuals. One feels isolated. There is a huge psychological stigma associated with homosexuality. It comes from two streams, one from societal and the other from legal. It is an emancipation petition and the court should liberate us from the stigma," he said.

The bench said, "It is a failure of society not to provide dignity to people irrespective of sexual orientation and way of living".

The bench also observed that the concept of morality has changed with the passage of time and noted that it has now-a-days become normal for a person to be in multiple relationships which was earlier considered immoral.

(Agencies)