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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Same-Sex Relations: Wither Freedom of Choice?

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 I think this phrase 'order of nature' itself is obsolete and may I add, against the 'order of nature'.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? 


3 comments:

Gautham said...

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

Even sati was widely accepted in the past. That does not mean that it is ok to accept it now.

In my view, I see it as a battle for Liberal Rights. The people who are supportive for gay rights argue that it is their individual rights to do whatever they want as it does not hurt anyone else.

But this way of moralizing an act does not hold strong. Every individual born in a society has to give up a part of his individual rights for the sake of the society. Assume that I decide to smoke pot one day. Well effectively I am not offending anyone. So can I justify myself and protest against the government for banning marijuana?

I only indent to say that logic with which we justify an act does not suffice and it needs much deeper thinking.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gowtham.

The impact that it has on society is to be thought upon too. In a society filled with increased rape attempts on women, the prospect of men being victimized too is unthinkable.

But that cannot be ruled out, considering its dangerous implications.

hemanth naidu said...

AS Gautham said "Assume that I decide to smoke pot one day. Well effectively I am not offending anyone. So can I justify myself and protest against the government for banning marijuana?

I only indent to say that logic with which we justify an act does not suffice and it needs much deeper thinking." By smoking a cigarette pot yo are not only shortening u r life but also shortening the life of other people around you. But in case of gay rights, They r fighting for their human rights , Don't forget that they are also humans born from a mother (human). if vagina-penile sex is the only sex accepted in the society then penile-hand or vagine-hand (masturbation) is also crime ? as you are not having oposite sex partner? Will this society accepts this too ? For the sake of society we don't need to sacrifice our likes until and unless it's not harming others in the society. Love and Love marraiges too not accepted in this society , but if we ask to raise hands how many hadn't love in their life before or after mar(except wife/husband)can we get atleast one hand.Should SC ban this too ? It's the time to broaden the society conservative view. because of this conservatism rapes and sexual harassment is increasing day to day.