An Indian view on history, current affairs and politics

May 27, 2018

What’s all the fuss about Supreme Court verdict on homosexuality

Supreme Court
Most of you would have already seen the vociferous reactions to the SC ruling on Media. There is almost unanimous condemnation of the ruling in print, main stream and social media. Headlines ranged from why all Indians should despair to India is enraged. Is India enraged? Frankly No! Most of the Indians either remain opposed to the idea or are plainly indifferent. Before i’m labelled homophobic, let me make it clear, that’s not the case. I’m the indifferent one. To me, what transpires between two persons consensually within confines of four walls is none of my business. However, the question of homosexuality isn’t just about people of same sex having a nice time. It goes beyond that.

Ancient Indian texts and art explicitly mention homosexuality indicating there was tolerance towards this alternate sexual behavior. But tolerance is not same as acceptance. In my view, the LGBT community isn’t just fighting to decriminalize homosexuality. They’ve been indulging in it and will continue to do so despite the provisions in IPC art. 377 terming it illegal. They’re fighting for acceptance in society and this is precisely the reason why majority opposes. People feel acceptance is only going to encourage the propagation of this alternate view of sexuality. However, supporting LGBT is the new politically correct view. This explains why most of the support for the community comes from, Media, entertainment and intelligentsia.

While a lot of opposition can be attributed to religious beliefs as in the case of Christianity and Islam, most is moral and ethical. Many say, the whole idea of homosexuality doesn’t seem morally right. The critics, therefore, call it unnatural. However, there are people who’re born with such tendencies. Many scientific researches done on the topic have failed to conclusively prove that it is either a case of mental illness or a personal choice. Those with the inclination towards homosexuality cannot wish it away. Given the stigma and social pressure, this explains the high rate of depression and suicide attempts among gays. Hence, they seem justified in their fight for acceptance of homosexuality.

I think the argument that it is an unnatural act is fundamentally flawed. How do one define what is natural and what’s unnatural. I’m sure most will agree killing a human is both unnatural and immoral sin. Yet, we hail soldiers killing each other on battlefield. It just shows how flexible our definition of natural, unnatural, moral and immoral is. Conservative Christian’s oppose abortion on the grounds that every life is God’s will and we don’t have any right to terminate it. What if that child is born with homosexual tendencies? Why don’t we take that as God’s will too?

Studies have shown that this behavior cements during childhood and growing up years. Given this, frankly, most would not prefer their kids to grow up in a society that accepts and encourages homosexuality. There is a general perception,flawed as it maybe, that the behavior can propagate when people freely interact. I think Supreme Court has done good to transfer the onus on government. The government can encourage research and discussion to dispel flawed notions about homosexuality and prepare the society to accept the change. Merely thrusting a SC ruling wouldn’t do any good neither to the LGBT community nor the society at large.