LESBIANS RELATIONS ARE LEGAL IN INDIA ? Homosexuality is a type of sexual orientation characterized by sexual desire or romantic love exclusively or almost exclusively for people who are identified as being of the same sex. People who are homosexual, particularly males, are also known as ‘gay’ and female homosexuals are known as ‘lesbians’.
article by – Shivam Shukla
LAW AND HOMOSEXUALITY IN INDIA:
The last century witnessed major changes in the conception of homosexuality. i.e LESBIANS RELATIONS ARE LEGAL IN INDIA well Since 1974, homosexuality ceased to be considered an abnormal behavior and was removed from the classification of mental disorder. It was also decriminalized in different countries. Since then various states across the globe enacted anti-discriminatory or equal opportunity laws and policies to protect the rights of gays and lesbians. In 1994, South Africa became the first nation to constitutionally safeguard the rights of lesbians and gays.
In India, so far no such progressive changes have taken place and the homosexuals remain victims of violence in different forms supported by the state and society. The major provisions of criminalization of same-sex acts if found in Section 377 of The Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860.
Section 377 of IPC reads:
Of Unnatural Offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.
ISSUES & CHALLENGES OF SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS
Same sex acts are punishable by death in nine countries around the world. The Indian society is steeped in tradition and this reflects on the legal system as regards inter-personal relationships. Intimacy of any sort is not approved of unless it is legitimized in the form of marriage where socially approved sexual access takes place. The social order in our Country is religion based which views procreation as an obligation for the execution of various religious ceremonies.LESBIANS RELATIONS ARE LEGAL IN INDIA
Additionally our society is very community oriented and individualism is not encouraged in the least, any expression of homosexuality is seen as an attempt to renounce tradition and promote individualism, thereby posing a threat to the order in Indian society. It is opined that if homosexual marriages are legalized it will destroy the concept of a traditional family and the sanctity of marriage will be lost.
A TIME FOR CHANGE- LESBIANS RELATIONS ARE LEGAL IN INDIA
Gay and lesbian rights activists from various parts of the countries were protesting for their rights and for decriminalizing the homosexual conduct. There is a big debate in our country too- whether it should be legalized or not.
Arguments against Decrimilisation of Homosexuality
This is more of a religious debate than a political one. A large number of people, especially in India are opposing it, as they say, it is unnatural, uncouth and immoral. Those people who are opposing it their arguments are based on religious and natural law belief. Some people don’t consider them as natural because they do not produce kids. LESBIANS RELATIONS ARE LEGAL IN INDIA
Arguments in favor of Decriminalizing Homosexuality
- It violates right to liberty guaranteed under Article-21 of the Indian Constitution which covers private consensual sexual relations. It also prohibits the state from interfering with the private personal activities of the individual.
- Criminalization of homosexual conduct is unreasonable and arbitrary. Infringement of, the right to equal protection before law requires the determination of whether there is a rational and objective basis to the classification introduced.
- Section-377 discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation which is forbidden under Article-15 of the Constitution. Article-15 prohibits discrimination on several grounds, which includes Sex.
LESBIANS RELATIONS ARE LEGAL IN INDIA ? The universal law of Human Rights states that social norms, tradition, custom or culture cannot be used to curb a person from asserting his fundamental and constitutional rights. Homosexuality is not an offence, it is just a way of pursuit of happiness, a way to achieve sexual happiness or desire. We thus need to legitimate same sex relationship in order to move forward in the direction of human rights.
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