Gay rights movement is catching up in India — will it succeed?

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By Himani Kumar

Chicago: In a landmark case, India legalized same sex marriage on July 2, 2009.  A Delhi High Court ruling decriminalized homosexual union between consenting adults. Marriage that was hitherto considered a union between a man and woman, has now been approved to be between people of the same sex also. The judgment created quite a stir after it was pronounced.

The ruling came as a surprise to conservationists and anti-gay marriage activists.

The case was supported by Naz Foundation (India) Trust, National Human Rights Commission and the Planning Commission of India and other organizations that  sympathize with the gay, lesbian and transgender communities.  So why should India not allow gay marriages?

The reason is that it is immaterial whether two women or two men fall in love. In fact, the high divorce rates and failure of heterosexual marriages have further fueled the rise of homosexual marriages. Gay activists argue that homosexual marriages may work just as well since a marriage is a union between two souls and is an adjustment.

Globalization and the western influence are partly to blame. Media messages and social influence further help this cause. Recently, US President Barack Obama said that he would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the US Army — a policy that was endorsed by President Bill Clinton.  Such developments really help the homosexual agenda.

So many gay movies are being made these days and movies like Dostana and Men Not Allowed have become mainstream. In 1997, Fire was the first Indian film to openly show homosexuality, though it was met with a lot of controversy. Gay bars and nightlife are very much alive in India.

Renowned Indian fashion designers like Suneet Varma, David Abraham and Manish Arora are coming out of the closet.

“The legal judgment is a step ahead, for giving thousands of young Indian men their dignity, their pride, their right to live,” Varma was quoted as saying in an Indian newspaper. “I’m proud of the two judges for having the strength to take this decision. India has finally woken up. We’re free.”

Following the Western views and other countries, India has finally agreed to this ruling but some  religious groups are against it. With advances in medical health and technological developments, India has begun to accept this too. Although some still argue that homosexuality existed in ancient India, it is still considered taboo in Indian society and government.

Has this been fair? Should India be doing all this? Will it not disturb the social balance or the balance between man and woman?

India is a conservative society and whether gay marriages will work out is doubtful. People are still afraid to come out of the closet. Being openly gay is still considered a stigma in Indian society.

Gay rights are much like women rights. Women still fight for their rights be it in America or India and how far gay liberation will go only time will tell.

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