The Supreme Court verdict on outlawing homosexuality has stirred up a raging debate across the country. While I do not agree with the SC verdict, especially after it overturned the Delhi High Court judgment, I think the SC judges, barring the deprecating moralistic tone, were only stating the current law as it exists. (You can read the SC verdict here.)
Let me cite the provision in Section 377. It talks about Unnatural offences and lays down that, “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 term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”.
By the way, what is order of nature? Do not species in the animal world indulge in same-sex relations? I think this phrase 'order of nature' itself is obsolete and may I add, against the 'order of nature'.
I personally think being a heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual is a matter of personal choice; it may not appear to be as simple as liking a particular flavour of ice-cream but don’t you think it is JUST that? What two people do in sex, homosexual or heterosexual, is in the order of things (read Nature), as long as it is consensual.
However, let me also state that I am against any kind of sexual activity, homosexual or heterosexual, against minors or anything without consent (among adults).
In her incisive piece for the Indian Express, Ruth Vanita, co-author of Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History', writes that: “The judgment claims that Section 377 only criminalises certain acts, not categories of people, such as gay people. However, if penile-vaginal sex is the only type of sex allowed, gay people are automatically condemned to celibacy. Without citing evidence, the judgment states, "Those who indulge in carnal intercourse in the ordinary course and those who indulge in carnal intercourse against the order of nature constitute different classes." This is incorrect; many heterosexual married couples enjoy anal and oral intercourse (outlawed by Section 377) along with penile-vaginal intercourse. Judges who read the fourth-century Kamasutra will discover that.”
I think it is hypocritical of us, Indians, to link same-sex relations with morality and traditions of this nation. Visual images of same-sex relations (and sometimes, sex with beasts) can be found on some temple walls. It does not mean that some religions approve of same-sex relations. It is just that such carnal relations were pretty much accepted in the ancient past.
Some of us may not like same-sex relations but then should we turn against those who profess and believe in such relations? Wither freedom of choice?