Bringing You Up To Date
Even if you live under a rock, you would have heard by now how US has legalized same sex marriage amidst much fanfare and understandably, a few orthodox objections (old habits die hard, you see?)
As we know from Alan Turing’s story and from the recently concluded season of Game of Thrones, homosexuality was deemed as unnatural, was frowned upon as ‘perversion’ and even invited capital punishment.
Delving into the past, Wikipedia tells me that the Danish were the first to grant same-sex unions almost the exact same rights as marriages, with its Registered Partnerships Act of 1989. However, the law stopped short of calling same-sex unions “marriages,” and couples could not be married in the Danish state church or adopt a child.
The first country that championed marriage equality for all genders, in the truest sense of the word was Netherlands. And this was in 2001. Fast forward to the present, 14 years and 20 countries later, US joined the club, rendering our social media newsfeeds bathed in a rainbow hue.
The Present Scenario
Youtube hit the bull’s-eye with this special video to mark the occasion:
There are many in India dreaming the same for us, demanding revoking section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Let me restate it here for your benefit,
“377. Unnatural offences.—Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Let’s not even discuss how India needs to deal with crippling issues of gender equality, poverty and provide the basic “roti, kapda, makaan” necessities before the masses can graduate to more intellectual debates; it’s a given. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking the homosexuals to get in line behind the poverty stricken to attain rights for themselves, but to scrutinize this Section 377 first.
Breaking it down, it is banning homosexuality and zoophilia (bestiality i.e sexual fixation on animals) in the same breath; but that’s a topic for another day. Can we approach decriminalizing homosexuality one state at a time, like in US?
There are a lot of NGOs and help groups that are dealing with awareness at the grassroot level, even Aamir Khan, in an episode of Satyamev Jayate highlighted the hesitation homosexuals face in coming out to their family and friends.
Before conquering marriage rights from the state, our citizens first need their parents to be more understanding and supportive of them, and wake the hinterland from the slumber of its stigma.
And when we do reach that coveted date (God knows under which political party’s regime), we would face certain hurdles, the same that US would face now; putting procedures in place for adoption (US has them already), maternity/paternity leaves and the likes. We’re at a nascent stage right now, but when the time comes, we can model our future equality rights on the solutions these countries have come up with. Until then, we can work towards sensitizing our immediate society members. With baby steps, we’ll reach there, slowly but steadily.
Individually, we should strive to make the entire process of coming out, a pleasant one for our friends and family. It’s a courageous move on their part, and they should feel liberated after having done it, and not question their existence instead.
Let me leave you with some facts and hard hitting arguments supporting the issue.
Picture credits: Google Images