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Gay Marriage in India

Autor:   •  December 30, 2017  •  2,032 Words (9 Pages)  •  263 Views

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Until 2012, the statistics for the LGBT community in India didn’t exist. According to the figures submitted to the Supreme Court by the National AIDS Control Organizations Expert Group, the homosexual community in India includes more than 2.5 million people (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-17363200) and 7% of those people (about 175,000) are HIV-positive. A confidential interview was conducted among 150 homosexual men in Mumbai, in conjunction with Harvard Medical School and Brown Medical School, at the Humsafar Trust (the largest NGO serving the LGBT community in India, translated: The Companion Trust). The interview was used to collect data on “sociodemographics, and assessed self-esteem, social support and psychiatric disorders using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (Sivasubramanian, Murugesan, et al 450).” The interview reported that “21% of the participants were married to women” (Sivasubramanian, Murugesan, et al 451), despite engaging in regular sexual relationship with other men. The data revealed that 45% of the men experienced suicidal tendencies, 29% men had major depression and 24% men reported anxiety disorders and none of the participants were undergoing any form of treatment for any psychiatric disorder (Sivasubramanian, Murugesan, et al 452). The negative effects of Section 377 reflect in the shocking statistics in South-East India where 16 LGBT suicides have been reported in 18 months. Chennai Dost (translated: Chennai Friend) is an activist group that works for the welfare of the LGBT community in the city of Chennai and it has reported that 16 of its members have committed suicide in the last 18 months due to lack of social acceptance, harassment and rejection by parents as well as internal struggles over their sexuality (http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/16-LGBT-Suicides-in-18-Months/2015/10/26/article3096945.ece).

The first revolutionary movement for gay rights in India was initiated by the Naz Foundation, an operational NGO with objectives to combat HIV/AIDS and promote safe sex. Naz filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court in 2001 and demanded the repeal of Section 377. The first gay pride movement was attended by over 5,000 people. The extrapolation of the statistics reveals the presence of at least 20 million homosexuals among the Indian population and this number doesn’t include the lesbian, bisexual and transgender population. The “gay India” can’t be hidden anymore and shouldn’t be allowed to hide its existence and love as a shameful secret. The first step would be to repeal Section 377 and use the positive power of media to reach out to people and distinguish between sexual orientation and gender identity. Hence, I reinstate that marriage is the basic human right of any individual and same sex marriage should be legalized in India. India is the birthplace of great love stories such as Heer-Ranjha and Soni-Mahiwal and it’s time for India to accept the love of an equally great magnitude between any two individuals, despite their gender. In Derek Jarman’s words, India needs to “understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you. Understand that if we decide to have sex whether safe, safer, or unsafe, it is our decision, and you have no rights in our lovemaking.”

Works Cited

India. India's Constitution. 4th rev. and enl. ed. Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 1957. Print.

Haldar, Partha, and Shashi Kant. "Reading Down of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code is a Welcome Move for HIV Prevention and Control among Men having Sex with Men in India." Indian Journal of Community Medicine 36.1 (2011): 57-8. ProQuest.Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

Dasgupta R.K. "Queer Sexuality: A Cultural Narrative of India's Historical Archive." Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities3.4 (2011): 651-670. Print.

Anjaneya Das, Gay and Transgender Rights in India: Naz Foundation v. Government of NCT of Delhi (Delhi Law Times) (2009).

Bakshi, P. M. The Constitution of India: Selective Comments. Delhi: Universal Law, 2007. Print.

Sivasubramanian, Murugesan, et al. "Suicidality, Clinical Depression, And Anxiety Disorders Are Highly Prevalent In Men Who Have Sex With Men In Mumbai, India: Findings From A Community-Recruited Sample." Psychology, Health & Medicine 16.4 (2011): 450-462. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Louis, Martin. "16 LGBT Suicides in 18 Months." The Indian Express. The New Indian Express, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

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