Thursday, December 12, 2013

Welcome to the dark ages... India re-criminalizes being Gay

(This lovely married couple would be considered "criminals" in India)
(Img via)

My second homeland - a country I love so much - has been continually disappointing me. Every item of news has been completely illuminating of a regressive society. I shudder to even return back there, especially now with a child. Everything hits too close to home now, it seems. I have officially lost ALL hope...

Yesterday, coincidentally on International Human Rights Day, the Supreme Court of India has re-criminalized homosexuality. So there you go - the world's largest "democracy" - the land where marital rape isn't a crime, but being gay is!!! 

This ruling makes it APPEAR that the Indian Supreme Court is run by a bunch of patriarchal, useless, regressive, backward, orthodox morons - who hide behind religion and "cultural values" to disguise their homophobia. They want to criminalize being gay...before fixing the ACTUAL threats to society which include corruption, poverty, domestic violence, and marital rape. Because apparently being gay and loving another adult is MORE of a threat to society than that?!?!?!

"Nobody should regulate someone's sexual preferences and what happens inside their homes. I appeal to religious leaders. It's not just about homosexuality, it's a larger message. It's about do you want to discriminate at all, why should you discriminate anyone based on their sexual preferences. Globally, countries that believe in social liberties and freedom of expressions are de-criminalizing homosexuality. Political leaders should do what is right, send out a larger message that India should be a pluralistic society and should not discriminate."(Milind Murli Deora, Minister of State)

What is probably the most troubling thing against this ruling is the fact that it now puts every gay person in India in danger of further harassment. And for all the people who are scared to come out, it shuts the closet tight in their faces. Just watch as the suicide rates jump up. It lets Indian citizens know that equal rights belong to only "the right" people.  Just another form of oppression, which India is all too familiar with.

If the government can choose who you are allowed to love - what will they choose next??? This is a HUGE disservice to Indian citizens and their basic human rights, as it contradicts the very constitution!

Of course, this whole ruling has the perversion of "religion" written all over it...by that I mean regressive and ignorant individuals using their orthodoxy to control people's freedoms under the name of "religion" (When there are numerous Hindu texts where being gay is positive and celebrated)

And of course, yet another useless "God-man" had to add his two paisa...

"What is the contribution of homosexuals to the world? In the field of science, economics etc? If our parents were homosexuals then we would not have been born. So it's unnatural." - Baba Ramdev.

My response to Baba:

1. Love is not only about procreation. 

2. It is also "unnatural" to use contraception, have open heart surgeries, cosmetics or use a computer. Are you going to criminalize that too, to further go back to the 18th century?

3. Contribution of homosexuals to the world: Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Michaelangelo, J. Edgar Hoover, Hans Christan Andersen, Julius Ceasar, Ellen Degeneres, Emily Dickinson, Melissa Etheridge, Malcorm Forbes, Jodi Foster, Elton John, Liberace, Robert Mapplethorpe, Harvey Milk, Socrates, Versace, Tchaikovsky, Andy Warhol, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Neil Patrick Harris......Oh, and don't forget the Prime Ministers of Belgium and Iceland. LGBT people have contributed enormously to the world. They are irreplaceable in society.

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Oops...I forgot. We aren't supposed to talk about SEX in Indian society. Sex is taboo. Sex is all about "procreation". Because how dare anybody enjoy sex for any reason other than that. You can't dare mention anything celebratory about sexuality with consenting adults, meanwhile the papers are full of gang-rapes and violence (not to mention that ex-Supreme Court judge who was a sexual predator!This ruling sets a standard of "normalcy" - normalcy being that it's okay to gang-rape a girl with an iron rod and MURDER her and ONLY get 3 years for it, than it is to consensually love another person of the same gender. What NORMALCY is that?!?!?! 

(Img via)

What about LOVE? What about intimacy between adults? What about the fact that being gay SHOULD be celebrated? Why? Because gay people are just like everybody else. People are born gay the same way they are born male or female. LOVE is LOVE.

(Via)

I have SIX gay family members. My gay uncles have been together for 30 years, are married, and helped us greet all our wedding guests. We also traveled to Venice with them this year, and we had so much fun. They are amazing people that are caring, intelligent and wise. It upsets me that I can't bring them to India at this time, or that Indian society will look at them as if something's wrong with them, or as "criminals". Well, guess what? There is something seriously wrong with society.

Commenter from TOI:
"Which is important once sexual orientation or the country .Encouraging this behavioural problem will have effect on the economy, health and family structure of the country in the long run and land up being like the west and USA stop aping them they are degenerating why should we go in that path."

This ruling makes India APPEAR as a regressive nation that can't keep up with modern times (22+countries & counting). Homosexuality is not a threat to "culture" - homoPHOBIA is a threat to basic human rights. 

And what about FREEDOM.....?

"Immorality does not consist in being different. It consists in not allowing others to be so. It is not the individual whose sexual relations depart from the social custom who is immoral – but those are immoral who would penalize him for being different."(Shakuntala Devi)

Jai Hindustan...no country for women, AND gay people. So...who IS India good for? Welcome to the dark ages...so much for being "modern". It's all downhill from here...

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Dear readers, what do you think about this ruling? What message does this send to Indian citizens? What message does this ruling send to the world about India?

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44 comments

  1. I read about this yesterday. How very sad. Yes, India is going backwards.
    I don't understand how two consenting adults can be labeled as criminals, yet gang rape is a spectator sport.
    I will always hold hope in my heart for India and her people, all of them.
    Liz

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    1. Me too, I am hopeful in the outpouring of outrage over this verdict. People need to protest, then change will come...

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  2. Oh wow. Yesterday was International Human Rights Day? Damn, that's terribly ironic. As I've said before, today I am ashamed to be an Indian.

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    1. yes, what a coincidence, on human rights day.
      I am with you - I'm ashamed to be a PIO. This verdict is absolutely outrageous.

      Delete
  3. Hi Alexandra –

    "the land where marital rape isn't a crime, but being gay is!!!" This is an assumption because the law is not implemented.

    Actually, a case was filed today which you can access on Times Of India. "Delhi woman claims husband brutally raped, sodomized her on honeymoon in Thailand"

    On the verdict - they should brought in Civil Union similar to what some of the states of America. However, the honorable Supreme Court's verdict is not supposed to be what mainstream media wants.

    I agree with you on "Love is not only about procreation". But, at the same time it doesn't provide a license to be an anomaly. The law of the land is supreme and judicial system of the country has to be respected.

    “If our parents were homosexuals then we would not have been born.” I think this is a logical statement. One cannot disagree with this. Biologically, one cannot overwrite the nature.

    Again, at least in US of A based on the research, homosexuality is considered a life-style choice. No cases yet of someone being born gay i.e. scientist have not yet arrived at genetic make-up of gay child (i.e. male and females have distinct genetic make-up).

    If you refer bell-curves from high-school text books, you will note that normalcy is a mathematical function of any event. Laws are for what court sees as normal or acceptable behavior i.e. what falls under the bell curve and not what deviates the distribution.

    Not sure, if you will publish my comments as they don’t line-up with the point-of-view of your blog-post. I just felt tad defensive when I read your blog pronouncing judgment against India (judges to be patriarchal, useless, regressive, backward, orthodox morons; and India to be regressive society etc.). Yes, it is your blog but since it is in public space, I have an option to comment.

    Raj
    NYC – Mumbai

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    1. Hi Raj,
      I want to see India flourish. I want to continue to go and I want my daughter to have to option of having a future there also. I want all our Indian relatives to live comfortably in India with as many freedoms rather than searching desperately for any opportunity abroad.

      In my opinion, with this verdict - the SC has failed Indian people and Indian people deserve better from their government. That is why I am outraged. My opinion is judgmental of the Indian government and certainly not of the Indian people as a whole.
      I don't think #377 needs to be taken down completely but it surely should state that consensual homosexuality is NOT a crime - who is it hurting? Gay marriage has been in my country for 9 years and it has only made improvements to our society.

      Just because it is the law does not mean it needs to be respected - if that's something that I don't agree with. For example, if I ever go to Saudi Arabia, I will refuse to be escorted by a male just to check out a library book because I am certainly not a helpless female.

      I'm not interested in what is "normal" - after all, each nation, especially India - is so diverse. People can choose who to love, how many children to have or none at all, whether to live in a joint or nuclear family, whether to love somebody from a different culture, age and/or gender.

      I disagree with you that homosexuality is a choice - ask any gay person and then will tell you otherwise - that they knew they were gay from as young as they can remember. If being gay is a choice - then isn't heterosexuality a choice? I suppose it's a choice then for me to love a man (it is not).

      Laws need to change as per the demands of the citizens - there is no need for laws that do not serve the citizens itself.

      “If our parents were homosexuals then we would not have been born.” --> the problem with this statement is that it insinuates that gay people cannot be parents. Gay people can have genetic children by surrogacy, many do - as well as adopting. Gays are parents just like any other parents. People with fertility problems who have to do IVF to have kids - if they did not do IVF then they would not have children. Isn't that also "unnatural"? But people do it because they want children.

      The greater message of this verdict (coming from a liberal Western perspective) is that it makes India look REALLY bad. Seriously - it is worse than any gang-rape news (at least then you can blame the individual perpetrator) - by passing this law it reflects badly on a much larger scale. On a global scale, it makes India look extremely regressive and backward. It is an embarrassment and it will cut down tourism a lot. I have been begging my dad to come with us for years, but after hearing this news, he refuses (he is heterosexual). It is a shame because visiting India is a life-changing experience and it is such a culturally rich country.

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    2. "I agree with you on "Love is not only about procreation". But, at the same time it doesn't provide a license to be an anomaly. The law of the land is supreme and judicial system of the country has to be respected.'
      Absolute load of rubbish. There is no need to irrationally respect any laws unquestioningly - especially when it comes to basic human rights. So if I had lived in Saudi Arabia, I should "respect" their misogynistic laws? No. That's how things have changed. What are we, in Nazi Germany?

      "“If our parents were homosexuals then we would not have been born.” I think this is a logical statement. One cannot disagree with this. Biologically, one cannot overwrite the nature.

      Again, at least in US of A based on the research, homosexuality is considered a life-style choice. No cases yet of someone being born gay i.e. scientist have not yet arrived at genetic make-up of gay child (i.e. male and females have distinct genetic make-up)."

      Life style choice? The debate is purely scientific and the nature vs nurture question is not about whether it's a "life style choice" - Jesus. We might have not born if our parents were sterile or used a contraception. That's just rubbish.


      And bottom line, and this is really important - it doesn't matter. Nature or nurture is a purely academic debate. Even if it's some sort of choice, they're individuals with agency, they still need equality, that's not up for reasonable debate.
      Gay people are not sub humans or anything, as we treat them now.

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    3. Raj, were is the anomaly???? The way I see it Homosexuality is nature's way to ensure some NATURAL population control, it's us straights that think we should procreate and that it is the only natural thing to do...incredibly stupid thinking in India where overpopulation and large families that can bearly eat and live is such a problem!

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  4. Alexandra,

    You ask an important question- what is 'normal'? More importantly, who defines what normal is? I guess we are all 'abnormal' then- I know my husband certainly is because he had LASIK eye surgery a year ago. I am 'abnormal' because I chose to marry my husband- someone from a different country and religion. Oh wait, I also wear glasses and use make up and wear clothes- all go against 'nature'. My daughter is 'abnormal' because she does not like princesses and instead likes to watch Cars and Monsters University. Why can't we just let people be?

    One of my closest friends lives in India with her partner under the guise of being 'cousins'- I can't even imagine what they must be going through.

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    1. Exactly.....what is normal and who defines it? And also, what's wrong with diversity? Isn't diversity normal too?
      As per the US census, only 7% of India-born males marry Caucasian females; and 3% of India-born females marry caucasian males - does that make us "abnormal"? I guess. But should be deemed criminals? Hell no - who are we hurting? It is people's mindsets that need to change to accept greater diversity, and respect for individual's choices of their idea of love, and family.
      I feel as though India is sinking towards Saudi Arabia with this verdict. It makes me really depressed.
      2/6 of our gay family members are Indian, and living in the closet, and will likely go on to marry women, because they feel ashamed. Because for them, it is better to live a lie than to be subject to harassment. I can't imagine....

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  5. Sorry, that previous comment was from me, Raina.

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  6. @Alexandra

    Both Islam and Christianity are against gay relationship. Gays are facing stiff opposition not only in India but also in many western countries. Hinduism has several instances of gay behavior. Lord Shiva is often described as Ardhnarishwar (half man and and half women). We do not accept gay behavior for the very same reasons that many other societies do not. Why India is being singed out. You seem to suggest that only India has a problem with gay relationships.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_themes_in_Hindu_mythology

    http://www.galva108.org/hinduism.html

    http://history-of-hinduism.blogspot.in/p/homosexuality-and-hinduism.html

    BTW, I am against criminalization of gay relationships as it goes against humanity.

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    1. @anonymous -
      "Why India is being singed out."
      1. As if I am some random firangi with little-to-none ties to India....? It is my second homeland, I'm married to an Indian, I have lived in my inlaws house in suburban Hyderabad, more than half of my family is Indian (500+family members), I'm a PIO, I have a half-Indian daughter, and even though we live abroad, I live in an Indian household. India is the only other country that I'm deeply connected to other than the one I was born in.
      2. This post is my specific reaction to the Supreme court verdict.
      3. I also have heavy criticisms of the USA (since I lived there) and I think it's atrocious that not all of the states have gay marriage, but I feel like they are headed in the right direction. I have also criticized the US at other times with the healthcare crisis, the outrageous costs of college, the lack of maternity care, among so many other things, etc.

      But somehow it is only Indians that can't seem to take the criticism. Why should I mention about any other country while I'm specifically talking about the supreme court's ruling and what that means for Indian citizens? Is it to shoulder the blow to the Indian EGO? Not interested.

      P.S. "but it happens elsewhere" excuse it one of my main pet peeves. Who cares? If doesn't make it right and it doesn't solve any problems. Oh, great, people are worse than us. Is that anything to compare to? I only want us to strive to be better. (for example: Canada's maternity leave policy is good, but Sweden has it even better) So - with gay marriage and LGBT equal rights - so many other countries are progressing - why not ours? I want there to be a gay prime minister in Canada AND in India, in my lifetime.

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    2. u r wrong half men half women makes it 3rd gender not gay

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  7. Hi Alexandra –

    “…visiting India is a life-changing experience and it is such a culturally rich country”. India has always had homosexuality as criminal offense and the country has survived just fine. Actually, more work needs to be done regarding empowerment of women and providing them expedited justice when they need. The 377 is more like a speeding ticket on India’s journey to progress.

    The honorable Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether criminalizing gay sex is "constitutional", and their verdict was that it is, because we have a section in the constitution that clearly says so. It does not say that this is the right thing to do. But as a court of law it needs to follow the constitution for all matters, because what purpose would such a text have if the courts were allowed to pick and choose which laws they wanted to uphold and which they didn't? What everyone is ignoring is the most important and practical aspect of the court's statements. The court advises the Indian government to take measures to remove that section from the constitution. It is something that can be done, according to the standard procedure. This is the solution to the problem. And, this is the democratic response. Though, I may not agree with it but as the blue passport holder I will abide the law of the land.

    “…I ever go to Saudi Arabia, I will refuse to be escorted by a male just to check out a library book because I am certainly not a helpless female.” I wouldn’t say I have lived there but had been there for couple of weeks. There laws stem from certain century in Islam. They have halted the rights and laws at that given time. If you travel there for work or pleasure you have to follow. If you don’t then you would be punished and some of the punishments are brutal. Do I agree with their laws? NO. But that is their country based on sharia law and they practice it. I have a choice to visit or not. I respect the religion and the preferences the citizens have made per religion. Why should they go with what main-stream Indian or American media wants? If the citizens there are unhappy then they will take things forward.

    “On a global scale, it makes India look extremely regressive and backward.” If you ask people why they visit India, the answer will for it’s history, culture, spirituality, its diversity. Not because it is one of the developed nations like some in Europe. It is tad backward. Also, the answer would be for business. With globalization, I jump on a call many times to chat with my colleagues in India. I don’t think so that Wall Street or Windows (Microsoft or any tech company) decides to do business based on the Indian Penal Code of 377.

    “indianmalefeminist” has responded to my post. Firstly, I was not communicating with you. Secondly, based on my upbringing in Army, it is considered rude to barge into a conversation.

    Since you have already interrupted – I am North Indian. I had resources to conduct a poll across 3-small towns in northern India about the verdict with simple question: Are you in favor of legalizing homosexuality? Out of 250 people only 2 said they are in favor. The targeted population was from villages. If you are aware more than 85% of India resides in the villages.

    I have lived and traveled the country with my parents being in Army. I would suggest, if you have not already done so, then travel the country and get to know the pulse of the nation on various issues. Aamir Khan did the same for his show and you can hear him say how much of a changed man he was.

    Also, since I am suggesting you stuff. Please read the technicality on which Supreme Court ruled before you start going crazy on FB, TWTR etc. (you seem online kinda guy whose reality is out of focus).

    Alexandra – anyways, I enjoy reading you blog and I got on here because my wife is Caucasian. And, I was curious of such relationships and it challenges. Though, we didn’t have any challenges with parents on the both sides but I can appreciate some of the challenges you faced.

    Raj
    NYC – Mumbai

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    1. First comes women empowerment, then comes gay rights - so get ready! How can you say that one oppressed group is "more deserving" than the other?

      "the answer would be for business" --> as if there are no successful business people who are gay. There are a TON (my gay uncles included, are successful businessmen for 25+ years) and a ton of gays are in the garment business, of which India is a huge supplier. We are also in the garment business and work with India (as well as other countries) Sometimes, we have to travel to India to purchase fabric. Do you think any gays are going to feel comfortable doing that, knowing they can be legally harassed?

      It is estimated that there are 9 million Americans that are gay - certainly they are not going to risk harassment to travel to India. Not to mention, all the LGBT supporters, like myself.

      I respect your opinion Raj, but I would expect more coming from another intercultural couple. Don't forget that in the United States not long ago, interracial marriages were also illegal and subject to harassment and discrimination - and intercultural couples, much like gay people, were not hurting anyone, they just believed in love.

      Glad you can relate to my other topics though.

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  8. Hi Raj,

    Thanks for your contributions, I agree with you here. I am a European having lived in India for continuous seven years now, recently married to a North Indian and these news hitting world headlines are not only disturbing but they also make me want to go back to read the original sources. There is a ton of media hype around this and ntdv makes for no exception, unfortunately.

    I read the SC ruling this morning and I would also suggest that Alexandra takes a look at it before "going crazy."

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    1. @anonymous - some say "crazy", I say "passionate"....
      Spent two days writing this post, digesting the Supreme Court ruling before posting this.

      LOL I suppose it is all "media hype", you know. Just because equal human rights and discrimination are such a minuscule issue. Same thing was said about "crazy protesters" after the Delhi gang rape. But guess what? People who are actually outraged made a difference. Likewise all the folks in the US who are still protesting daily and tirelessly for gay marriage have made a difference as the States have made a ton of progress, particularly in the last few years.

      The HUGE problem that I have with this ruling is ""Community, family, workplace or police harassment, blackmail and extortion may take place under threat of Section 377 or even because you appear or are known to be “not straight”."
      --->Substitute "not straight" for anything else (a gender, a skin color, a particular caste or community and that is discrimination, is it not?)

      And "Section 377 criminalizes any sexual act that does not involve penile-vaginal penetration. It applies to all people, irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation. That means straight people are also affected by this law, and not just those who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender in orientation." ---> the government has no place in our bedrooms, and this isn't just a "gay" thing.

      As a fellow intercultural couple, and as a woman, I am quite shocked that you are not "going crazy".

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    2. @Alexandra

      I found something interesting which I wanted to share with you. It is an article written by a women which articulates what men have been feeling for along time. Do have a look

      http://seemagoswami.blogspot.in/2013/12/in-defence-of-men.html

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    3. @anonymous - The post had some great points. It is true that women's rights are a human issue and that men should not be left out of it, they need to be included, or else how will they learn? I think women and men need to work together to solve this problem.

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    4. @Alexandra

      I travel by Delhi Metro each day. There is a separate coach for ladies. Why? because women feel insecure to travel with men. As a Indian man, it fills me with shame. There are a few perverts but not all. I feel "OMG, are these women feel afraid of me? Am I a potential molester?". It is most unfortunate that women are no longer safe in our country. One half of my mind is filled with anger at this mistrust and the other with anguish. Someone said " India is a country of women haters". Are all Indian men monsters?? It has set many of us thinking. After the December 16th incident, a pale of gloom descended upon Delhi. We all felt extreme pain and sorrow. Indian men want to tell to their women, please do not exclude us. We feel your pain. This is not your fight but our fight too. Together we will break this cycle of mistrust and fear. There can be no peace till one half of our population lives in permanent fear.

      In Mahabharata, Arjuna on the eve of the great war asked Krishna "O Lord, why should I kill my own kin. Even if I win the war, what difference would it make??". Krishna told Arjuna "Arjuna, this not your private war. The dishounour of Draupadi is not a private affair either. It is a social problem. Societies which do not honour their women have no right to exist, so fight and leave the rest to me"

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lKfgTuJc-0

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je7Rm10krBI

      In times of personal turmoil, we always seek guidance in Bhagvad Geeta. Like Arjuna, each and every individual who believes in humanity must fight this war.

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    5. @anonymous - It is really a shame, and I can just imagine what fear there is on a daily basis....I feel for you. I would not want to visit Delhi ever again until the situation improves. I cannot, with a daughter.
      I don't think Indian men are monsters, but like you said before - I think more men need to stand up and be part of the conversation. It will take time, but it is already on it's way there.
      "Societies which do not honour their women have no right to exist" - I cannot agree more :)

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  9. Hi Alexandra –

    “First comes women empowerment, then comes gay rights - so get ready! How can you say that one oppressed group is "more deserving" than the other?” It is simple principle of supply and demand. The state of women in India is next to worse in terms to discrimination and harassment. And, if you glance at the population then “yes” one oppressed group comes ahead of the other. Not sure what the numbers are for gay population in India certainly not anywhere close to beat women to ask for reform. As you know, India is developing nation and with limited funds/resources to allot for reforms. Hence, it is a zero sum game. I don’t think we are there yet to ignore the immediate need to help women and divert the nation’s attention to other oppressed group which lack numbers. Yes, that is how thing work in developing nation……based on numbers. (Total Female Population in India = 614,397,079 (614.4 million)

    “as if there are no successful business people who are gay.” I never said that homosexuals cannot be successful businessmen. I was highlighting the fact that businesses are driven by profits and not by IPC377. Not sure about your family’s business but businesses have responsibilities towards their stakeholders and clients. And, I doubt a businesses will fail the stakeholders and not do business with India because of IPC377.

    “interracial marriages were also illegal”. If that would have been the case today, then I would not have approached by wife in US of A. And, if not approaching her, would not have been an option for me then we would have moved to India. India doesn’t have any laws at least in my recollection on interracial marriages. Law of the land should be respected. India does have to make laws to suit Canadian or American. And, neither do Canada or US of A has to make laws to suit India.

    Tomorrow people will be supporting to make prostitution legal because it is in certain countries. One can use the same logic about discrimination to propel similar reform. I think, there is a break-even point and if you continue to keep things fluid then it will disturb the social fabric. Largest democracy is not up for experiment and certainly it doesn’t need to amend constitution at the behest of “west” and/or certain population which is claiming to oppressed.

    Raj
    NYC – Mumbai

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    1. I disagree. I think the state of women & their harassment is quite similar to the harassment that gays face on a regular basis - that is why so many are in hiding. And what of the lesbians who need both women empowerment AND gay rights? The same conservative notions that are thrown towards women - being "don't leave the house, don't go out, don't get raped", are also thrown at gays - essentially they are forced to pretend to be straight in public to avoid harassment - to live a lie.

      Once India becomes more tolerant to it's gay population, and once being gay is seen in a positive light, and is celebrated (like it was in ancient India), you'd be surprised to know just how many people are gay. I have met tons of Indians who are gay, both abroad and within India.

      I have many gay friends, and so many do not realize their full potential as long as they are in the closet. They always fear to reach too high, that someone will find them out, always looking over their shoulder. They live in a state of constant fear if they are in the closet, and oftentimes it affects their careers as well.
      Now the world has two prime ministers who are openly gay - what if India has a future prime minister who could do so much good for India - who feels they could never reach that high due to the intolerance of gays. It is a shame. There are so many gay Indians who are living in fear as we speak, criminals in their own country, who will never reach their full potential unless society becomes more tolerant and lets them flourish. Not to mention, many do not have the option of leaving their country.

      Gay rights are human rights and it is not a "western" thing. There are several countries such as South Africa, Israel, and several parts of South America like Brazil and Uruguay who recognize same sex marriage. (Or is that also blanketed under "the west"?)

      Homosexuality was celebrated in Ancient India and I am hopeful that it will be celebrated again, once this conservative bullshit "morality" standard loosens up a bit. It is immoral to judge people for who they love. People need to stop looking at is as "disgusting". I have had people look at myself and my husband as "disgusting" for just being an intercultural couple. As if we are not human beings, as if we are not just like everybody else.

      The world is changing, the idea of family is changing - especially in India. People are living in nuclear families, people are choosing not to have kids, women are in the workforce more than ever before, and gay pride marches are in many Indian cities. It is the future.

      Besides, how would you feel if you were harassed for being a desi? Or if you were deemed as a criminal by people preaching "morality" for just being a desi? How would you feel if you had to put on a costume every day just to leave your house for your own safety? How would you feel if you were trapped in a country like that with no means to get out?

      As diverse as it is in India, there is surely a lot of intolerance and lack of empathy for fellow countrymen. Gay Indians are Indians too.

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  10. That judgement angers me a lot, first I can't understand why money and time has been wasted on a matter that is a non issue when there are far more pressing matters in India, as you said, corruption, povery womens right, child lanour....the list is long.
    And then why such a freaking fuss is made about Gay couples being unnatural??? No they aren't, and really in a country of one billion soul were family planning is a big issue in some communities and overpopulation an isssue, they chose to go after the couples who will not procerate and bring more mouth to feed, and couples who could adopt and give a loving home to kids that have no parents.

    While the rest of the world is debating wether gays should have a right to marry and adopt with equally stupid points against it, India is still debating whether gays have even a right to exist int he first place! RIDICULOUS

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    1. EXACTLY! And I felt as though the Supreme court judges were totally biased. One of them even openly wondered "what a bisexual was" and the other said he had "never met any gay people". It's like people saying that they have never met a black person, so they don't matter.
      I feel as though India is sinking deeply into a very conservative place. All fueled by the BJP, of course. And I read that the person who fueled this is an old retired fart who practices astrology in his spare time!
      ---> http://lawandotherthings.blogspot.ca/2013/12/taking-sexuality-seriously-supreme.html

      So many Indians do not realize how badly this ruling damages India's reputation. It screams intolerance.

      Delete
  11. It is the sheer hypocrisy involved in the name of "culture", "religion", social fabric etc. which infuriates me. As for Baba Ramdev's comments, I could not help laughing when I read the list of names you have mentioned in reply to his question about what contribution gays have made to this world. Wonder if he has even heard these names sometime in his lifetime. So don't know if it would make any sense to him.

    I am totally put off by the totally senseless comments made by people - comments made thoughtlessly. Homosexuality is "unnatural" because they cannot have children? What should that say of straight couples who are in the same situation or should they also refrain from getting married?

    As for one comment here about a case being filed in court against a man who raped and sodomized his wife during the honeymoon, it is more likely that a case was registered because of the sodomy. I wonder if any action would have been taken if it was a case of marital rape alone.

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    1. I totally agree! It is absolute hypocrisy - substitute "gay" for any other group of people and it is discrimination!

      I feel like India would improve so much if it celebrates it's gay population. It is an absolute failure to gay Indians - they should immediately get refugee status to Canada and we will reap the benefits of all the good things they will do for our society!

      I cannot understand that a society that has innovative medical procedures, a boom in surrogacy and IVF, can call being gay "unnatural". It is all morality based.

      And the "culture" excuses - what then of Khajuraho? Total hypocrisy! I feel like those Supreme court judges should make a pilgrimage there!

      Glad to know that there are fellow desis who agree. Thank you for this. And loved your post, btw.

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  12. I loved your passionate post on this. I cannot get why people are arguing about against gays. There are many other animals which have gays. So what?

    If SC has so much time, they could do well to use their time to clear years of back logs instead of this tsk tsk

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    1. Thank you! I get nervous publishing the more passionate posts, in case I offend. But it's worth it to get the opinions out there!

      Delete
  13. So sad that one couple had to flee and get asylum in the US. I hope that they are able to adjust. http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/01/23/gaining-asylum-after-indias-ban-on-gay-sex/

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    1. Thank god they got asylum, and rightfully so. India does not deserve any of the LGBT community to contribute to their country. I am glad they are going abroad, and hope that they will thrive and be successful. Then that will show India that it is their loss because they did not treat them well!

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  14. This is the latest news on 377 http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/01/28/supreme-court-refuses-to-rethink-ban-on-gay-sex/

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    1. http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/02/03/indias-first-gay-magazine-struggles-to-survive/
      i hope that they can get funding from somewhere in order to survive. As you can see, they were also helped by the un.

      Delete
    2. Found these pictures today of the Gay Pride parade that was held this month in Mumbai. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/02/pictures-mumbai-gay-pride-parade-20142215145797937.html

      Delete
  15. Some more pictures of the parade. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/gallery/mumbai-shows-solidarity-lgbt-community-gay-pride-parade-india-today/11/8694.html

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  16. Seems to be some progress! http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/03/06/being-a-transgender-voter-in-india/

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    1. Excellent!!! That is huge. I'm sharing it...

      Delete
    2. Slideshow of the Hijras who are the third sex.

      http://abcnews.go.com/International/slideshow/indias-gender-20240959/image-20243269

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    3. It is interesting that the Hijras are such a common part of society, yet are denied many rights. Excellent that they got the right to vote....I feel as though things are turning around.

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    4. Saw this article on Hijras today and thought that you would be interested
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-27031180

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    5. @anonymous - yes, I saw that! Incredible news!!!!!!! So happy!!!

      Delete
  17. Alexandra, This is not the place for this, but I thought that you might be interested to read this article.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/03/19/why-muslims-still-cant-adopt-in-india/

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    1. Thank you, great article. Can't believe it....again another colonial crappy law...time to update these archaic laws

      Delete

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