Saturday, December 14, 2013

Statement by Mission Bhartiyam condemning the the SC verdict criminalizing gay sex

On 11th December 2013, the Supreme Court of India has dismissed the Delhi High Court Ruling of 2009 to uphold IPC section 377 that prohibits “carnal acts against the order of nature”. Doing so, it criminalises the sexual acts of LGBTI community. 

The Delhi High Court in its ruling had held that the provision violated the sexual minorities’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, equality, and discriminating between people on grounds of sex. But the Supreme Court has overturned the verdict arguing that it is not against the constitutional norms. The SC has upheld the allegations of the social and religious organisations that consider non-heteronormativity to be against the "cultural and religious values of the country". 

We condemn the SC verdict. We feel that the verdict is not "non-liberal", conservative or "non-progressive" but is against the fact of nature and is historically baseless. Non-heteronormativity is not unnatural, it is not a choice or a "lifestyle". It is a is a way a person is. Non-heteronormativity has been observed in several animal and bird species as well. 

Homosexuality and other forms of non-heteronormativity are not against our culture.. they were a part of our culture and for this, there is enough historical evidence. The ban on non-heteronormative forms of sexuality has its origin in the colonial era. But we think that even if we may think it is, it is against our culture just like the ban on sati, child marriage, devdasi tradition and other social evils. 

It has been argued that non-heteronormativity is against the religious norms. Some religions like Islam and Christianity have prohibited it but there was a certain context to it. In Islam, all the obligations were made in a certain socio-political context which needs to be studied. Other religions like Hinduism cannot be said to be against non-heteronormativity and there is enough evidence in the scriptures to prove it. We also feel that even if the religions do not permit it, it does not mean that it is wrong. We must remember that religions also promote several other forms of discrimination and inequality. 

We also think that even if a certain religion does not permit non-heteronormativity, it should be concern only for the people who ascribe to that religion. The individual following that religion should decide if he/she wants to leave his/her religion or suppress his/her sexuality. Their religious values and opinions should not be imposed on others. 
We state that people with non-heteronormative sexuality are not "abnormal", "diseased" and deviants.. what is abnormal, unnatural and a "mental disorder" is this homophobia. As we know, the nature loves and celebrates diversity. The non-heteronormative sexualities represents these diverse forms of sexuality. 

This verdict is a verdict against the nature, against knowledge and against humanity. 

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