Culture

Gay Sex Legalized by India’s Supreme Court: How You Can Support

India’s Supreme Court legalized consensual adult gay sex today after a 158-year old ban imposed by Section 377 of the IPC, which deemed gay sex as unnatural. Here’s why this is so important, and how you, too, can play a role in supporting the Indian LGBTQ community.

section 377 india gay sex legalized lgbtq communityAs if societal taboo and family pressures weren’t enough, gay relationships had also been illegal in India for over 150 years. Under a colonial law, section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), gay sex was considered a punishable offense. Deemed immoral and “against the nature,” the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer) community had been fighting for the decriminalization of gay relationships for years now.

India is a country where traditions and family values are very important. Conservative, sure, but India is also secular. So it’s as important in a country like ours, to understand and accept views or practices that may be different from those one has grown up with. While narrow-minded views and unreasonable prejudice has been faced by the LGBTQ community nearly all over the world, in India, sex is considered a taboo subject even in general.

The traditional gender roles are prevalent. A man and a woman complete the family, that it’s the ‘dharma’ of the woman to care for and that of the man to provide for the family. Of course, any average family expects their children to carry these values forward and fulfill their roles and expected duties. The alternative is too scary to think about. The rebels are discriminated against and boycotted. They become victims of bullying and incivility by homophobic people.

Legalization of Gay Sex in India

gay sex legalized in india 2018

That’s why today is so important. The Indian Supreme Court finally ruled that consensual adult gay sex is no longer a punishable offence. “History owes an apology to LGBT persons for ostracization, discrimination,” said Justice Indu Malhotra. However, we as a society still have a long way to go when it comes to removing the taboo associated with the gay community.

Support the Gay Community

Do you want to me more supportive of this new law? The Supreme Court has done its part. Now it’s your turn to do your part… in removing the taboo. Here’s how:

1. Speak up against gay-bullying at school, college or in your neighborhood. Know that it can happen for people of any age or gender.

2. If you have a homosexual relative, let them know you’re there for support, if they need.

3. If you’re friends with the parents of a gay child, avoid asking them when their son/daughter is getting married!

4. If you observe discrimination against the LGBTQ at your workplace, educate your coworkers about the cause, one on one.

section 377 india homosexual sex gay lgbtq community

5. If you’re building a public place, large office building, school or university, be sure to include mixed gender restrooms for trans, queer or nonbinary users.

6. If you’re classmates, friends or acquaintances with a gay person, be cool. Don’t force them to share their feelings or discuss their private lives. They will when they’re ready if they need someone to talk to. Just be with them like you’re with your non-gay friends.

7. If your child comes out to you as homosexual, support them. Educate them about their rights.

8. If you know someone who isn’t openly gay, know that it’s their secret to keep. Just because they confided in you doesn’t mean that you have the right to out them to anyone else. Respect their right to privacy.

9. If you’re an employer or work in HR, make it clear that you don’t discriminate against sexual orientation or gender. Add an Equal Employment Opportunity policy in your workplace. You can get ideas from our own Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement at our Careers page!

10. #BeCool.

What are your thoughts on this big historical news? Lemme know below or tweet me @shilpa1ahuja!

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