I landed in Bombay to the news that homosexuality had been decriminalised. Unfortunately, it’s only in the country’s capital, Delhi. I remember learning only in 2006 that homosexuality was actually considered a crime in India and I had a huge rant about it. The reason I never thought it was illegal was because I knew some people who were out of the closet at my college. I knew they had been victims of gay-bashing but were still proud of their sexuality. And they were no different to you and me except that they were attracted to individuals of the same sex. I still have homosexual friends in Australia and no, they do not have a label on their foreheads stating that. They are fun, helpful, loving and intelligent friends and great individuals.
Anyway, I was at first overjoyed on seeing the newspaper because I thought homosexuality had been legalised all over India. Only later did I find out it was only in Delhi. Oh well, I figured it was a start at the very least. Then there have been other reports that it has in fact been decriminalised throughout India. Either way, I guess it’s a positive step. Unfortunately, as it tends to happen in India, this joy was not going to last.
Since the High Court’s decision, there have been appeals made. And as always, when it comes to India, people against social reforms refer to how things are “against the Indian culture” (I swear if I hear that phrase again, I’ll rip the person’s tongue out!!!). One group protested that homosexuality is a psychological disorder. My response to them: please look up the DSM-IV-TR used by psychiatrists and psychologists world over to diagnose mental health problems. You will see that homosexuality is NOT listed as a disorder. That’s because it isn’t one. At this junction, all religious groups in India have come together and forgotten they actually burn each other normally. Conservative Hindus, Muslims and Christians have all spoken out against homosexuality deeming it unnatural and against what God wanted. Now seriously, how did these religious fanatics agree which God it goes against? 😛
We also have a yoga guru and an astrologer filing a motion against legalising homosexuality because it is a disease that can be cured. Seriously, an astrologer and a yoga guru? You’re kidding me, right? Since when do these people have even an ounce of critical thinking? Apparently. the astrologer claims that HIV is a result of unnatural sex and could be spread due to the legalisation of homosexuality. And here I always thought that HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were spread due to unsafe sex i.e. without a condom. He also says that in future, people may seek permission to have sex with animals. Well, if it’s in the privacy of their own bedroom and if the animal is above legal age and can provide consent, I don’t see the problem in that. Having said that, I object to his association of something crude with homosexuality. Then again, he is an astrologer and since when have astrologers been known for using scientific facts or logical reasoning??
I don’t have the source for this but I remember reading some place that someone said if homosexuality would be made lgeal, then at this rate prostitution too would be made legal (which would be against the Indian cultuire blah blah blah). Well, why not make prostitution legal? It is legal in several countries. It’s not like it doesn’t exist if it’s not legal. Instead, by making it legal they would probably be ensuring more hygienic standards and lesser chances of STIs. Anyway, legalising prostitution is not my main agenda here. Apart from the above atrocious appeals against scrapping Section 377, there have been comments about how it encourages paedophilia (homosexuality does NOT mean paedophilia you morons!)
To sum up, I hope the Supreme Court throws out the appeals made by uneducated and socially regressive individuals in the name of the ‘Indian Culture’ or ‘Religion’. If they do that, all the homosexuals need no longer stay in the closet and get married to someone of the opposite sex for the sake of it, thus ruining their own lives and their partners’. And please, would someone educate these narrow-minded, regressive individuals?
It’s high time India realises that progressing just in terms of IT is not enough.
It is more important to be socially and morally progressive than to be stuck in the Dark Ages.
Here’s hoping homosexuality stays decriminalised throughout India (and hopefully, world over).
Until next time,