Friday, July 03, 2009

Finally! It's time to be happy and Gay!

As you may have already heard, in a landmark judgement by the Delhi High Court yesterday, Homosexuality has been decriminalize. Before this, Section 377 of the IPC, from the British Raj times, read that homosexuality and any form of unnatural sex was a crime. The same has been amended, keeping in mind the basic right of a human being to equality and choice of partner. While this is a reason to rejoice for many, both LGBTs and others, issues like legalisation of gay marriages are still under debate.

I am all for equality and right to choose a partner for every human being, and ever since I came to know about the existence of Section 377, I have wondered which dark era we are living in. Why are we still sticking on to such ridiculous laws left to us by the British? As the biggest democracy, and the second largest population in the world, cant we think and make laws for ourselves, as per the situation and for the better of the people in our country?

News about the repealing of Section 377 was a great relief for me. I'm straight, but I feel happy for all those who have finally got the right to be who they are, and not be made out as criminals. I can imagine the sighs of relief and happiness the LGBTs must be heaving, having fought for their basic rights for so many years in India. I am glad to know, that finally India has started to tread the path of maturity, and is trying to rid itself of biases, stereotypes, and conservative beliefs.

But I still have doubts in my mind. Forget about further steps and legalisation of gay marriages etc. Taking this first step of decriminalisation itself might be a big problem for India. Already several religious groups and leaders have started to protest against this historical judgement, justifying that legalising homosexuality will lead to further disintegration of the family system and this kind of consensual unnatural sex is against the law of nature, and India's moral, social and religious fibre.

What crap. I mean its high time we adapt ourselves to the changing world and accept certain things in life, like the existence of Gays. Though its less popular, its not unnatural for a person to feel attracted towards the same sex. And whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not, whether you legalise it of not, gays will always be there. By legalising homosexuality, we have allowed these people an equal right to be who they are. It is a basic right, denial of which was extremely unfair.
Every individual has their own religious, social, moral, cultural beliefs, and is entitled to their opinion. If you think that homosexuality is against your belief system, then you keep away from it. How can you dictate to another adult human being to choose their partners as per your beliefs?

But these protesters don't care for rationality, right to equality, and logic. I wonder what they are really afraid of? That suddenly all straight people will start feeling homosexual after this ruling? That suddenly all their kids will get affected by this ruling and become gay? Yes, is someone is gay, they will now get a chance to come out of the closet, but isn't it better that way than to force people to get "Cured" from this "affliction" and FORCE them into straight marriages?

They say it will ruin the already fragile family system. I do not agree. If gay marriages are legalised, I am sure may gays will be more than happy to settle down into happy matrimony and live a fulfilling life like any other straight couple: set up a house together, earn a living, do household chores, take care of each other. How does it matter if the two people doing that are both men or women? As long as they love each other and care for each other; no one in the world has a right to judge them as a threat to the society. They are part of society and have every right to live as they want.

They say there will be no offspring and the human race will die out. I don't think it is ever possible that everyone in this world turns gay and no babies are born. Not everyone is gay, nor ever will be. And even if that does happen, I think the earth will rejoice that finally the human race has stopped producing more people, who do nothing but violate nature. I know this sounds extreme but so does the protest.

They say if their son is gay they wont have grandchildren and their family name will not continue. In countries where gay marriages are legal, gays are also allowed to adopt or have children of their own with some help. There is no reason why we cannot have that here as well. With so many childless straight couples, and orphans on the other hand, adopting sounds like a great idea. And with sperm banks and surrogacy, now one can have their OWN flesh and blood too.

They feel that even if they are OK with someone in their family being gay, the society will not accept and ostracise them. Well, as time passes, people will get matured, or so I hope, and realise that homophobia is baseless and ridiculous. Haven't we come a long way from the times when Sati was legal and widow remarriage unthinkable? We managed to change one of the many important and long-believed traditions of our culture. MAybe we will be able to make a change in this case too. Hopefully sooner or later people will think logically and accept homosexuality: it wont be a taboo anymore, and LGBTs will be a comfortable part of the society. This change may take years or decades, and maybe the stigma may not be completely wiped out, but I hope some change does come about. And the change will start from each individual.

Ofcourse, until then we should prepare ourselves for a slew of protests, rallies, marches, and who knows, maybe even riots, all against this judgement, and continuing social stigma against the queer. But here's hoping that one day soon, this will die down and everyone will move on.

If only we understand, accept, respect and celebrate our diversity, can we be happy together as one nation. Kudos to the High Court for taking this decision. Cheers to all the gays on India, and boo to all those who are against this!