Chitranjali tiwari


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This article has been written for Techkriti Blog for a Cause Contest.
The topic was:
Write an article on Section 377 of IPC that criminalises Homosexuality in India and tags it as “unnatural”.

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Chitranjali tiwari

  1. 1. Write an article on Section 377 of IPC that criminalists Homosexuality and tags it a “Unnatural” The term Homosexuality comes from the Greek ὁμός, meaning "same", and Latin sexus, meaning "sex" and Wikipedia describes it as a romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. Sexual orientation is integrally linked to the intimate personal relationships that human beings form with others to meet their deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy. When we talk about ones sexual orientation it is not only sexual behavior we are talking about but it also includes nonsexual physical affection between two individuals, sharing common dreams giving mutual support, and healthy commitment. The history of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code lies way back in the British Era. The British Rule criminalised Homosexuality considering it
  2. 2. against the law of nature or ‘unnatural’. Basically any sort of sexual activity or intercourse against the law of nature with man, woman or animal is punishable under law granting imprisonment for life. But is Homosexuality actually unnatural? Does it not hamper the basic Human right of freedom ? Are we neglecting other major sexual crimes which are more hazardous than this act only to protect the religious views? Where was the Sec 377 while amending rape laws in the wake of Delhi Gang rape incident. Latest research has proved homosexuality as a normal and natural variation in human sexuality denying completely the epithet “unnatural” or against nature laws. Article 14-18 guarantees an Indian citizen the right to equality…but the question is why should the 7-13% homosexuals living in India be exempted from these? The homosexuals are also the citizens of India, but if the constitution itself discriminates between the citizen of India on grounds of sexual orientation and sexual offences
  3. 3. ….can we expect the citizens to not alienate this section of society? The Constitution of India guarantees the Right to life and Personal liberty as one of its Fundamental Rights under Article 19-22. Are Gays not the citizens of this country? Including Homosexuality among the unnatural sex acts is completely inhuman as it denies these citizens their right to personal liberty. India, as we claim, has the one of the largest democracy’s in the world, is it actually Democracy or is it Majoritism that we are talking about, where the majority group of straights are dominating the minority of homosexuals in the name of religion or culture. Homosexuality is embraced by so many cultures , countries and groups across the globes and yet again 83 countries and independent political entities exist with antihomosexuality laws. In fact legalizing gay marriage will bring social and emotional security to their relationships and also prevent any sort of crime that might occur due to
  4. 4. frustration among the homosexuals regarding their denial of the rights. Now the question arise, Why is an individual Gay? The answer is very complex but of course it is not by choice. Why would the homosexuals choose a difficult life by being gay? Why would they want to be despised by the society? Why would they want people to stare at them holding hands with their boyfriends or girlfriends?. The truth is that it is not by their choice which means an individual never chooses the path of homosexuality on his own. The day normal people decide being ‘normal’ the same day homosexuals decide being ‘gay’. The are several factors responsible for a person’s homosexual behaviour like sociological, psychological, genetic and hormonal during the foetal development period that may influence the resulting brain structure and hence the sexual orientation; widely it has been accepted that homosexuality is too complex to understand but in a
  5. 5. nutshell it can be said that is a combination of both nature and nurture. There have been many studies on Sexual orientation which state that it is not just black or white rather it is a continuum with complete attraction for the opposite sex which we call straight or completely for the same sex which is referred as gay. This continuum is broadly classified in to three main categories Bisexuality, Heterosexuality and Homosexuality. According to current scientific and professional understanding, the symptoms of sexual orientation and core attractions emerge between middle childhood and early adolescence. These patterns of emotional, romantic and sexual attraction may arise without any prior sexual experience. People can be celibate and still know their sexual orientation which can be either homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. There have been allegations by certain conservative groups that considering homosexuality a matter of choice
  6. 6. legalizing it will ensure legalizing other cases like incest marriage and polygamy since they too are a matter of choice. Here I would to again emphasise the fact that homosexuality like polygamy, rape, prostitution, incest marriage is not something that people choose. They are born in a way that they have to accept this orientation. Illegalizing Homosexuality in India including it under Section 377 simply means taking India back around 100 years. When everybody and everything is advancing in this era of science why are we backing? To not legalize same-sex marriage is to further perpetuate the problem of minority discrimination. This feeling of inferiority enters the minds of minority homosexuals, a lack of self worth leads to less economic and social prosperity as well as a denial of one's own identity as they are barraged with the message that they are lesser. Many people in order to hide their bisexual or homosexual orientation, date opposite sex, try out relationships, marry or establish a family too, but all this leads to further
  7. 7. miseries, not only in their lives but only of their partners. They continue living a facade as a heterosexual man/woman. The sad truth is, that this leads to not only harming themselves but also their spouses if any in future, their children out of their opposite sex marriage and all those who care about their happiness. The question is, why? Why do these people choose to deny their homosexual desires? Because the society puts too high a price on coming out of the closet . The homosexuals are not accepted by the society. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults who face family and society rejection are more prone to attempted suicides, high levels of depression, consumption of illegal drugs, and also engage in unprotected sexual intercourse and prostitution compared with peers from families that accept them with their orientation. Gay bullying can be the verbal or physical abuse against a person who is perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
  8. 8. At the end I would like to conclude by saying that love is just an emotion, it is a right of an individual, not a concept that can be denied by law or by an old book(bible). Remember that religion or law which prohibits it is by choice but homosexuality in itself is not by choice.