Gay Rights in India

I can honestly say I was really surprised and impressed at the fact that gay marriage is legal nationwide in India. LIke someone said in class today, its interesting to think that we consider the United States so liberal and the front runner when it comes to equal rights. Clearly we are behind (and need to catch up, like yesterday). Here is the Times article from 2009 (yes, two years ago) when gay marriage was legalized in India. Thoughts on this?

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1908406,00.html

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2 thoughts on “Gay Rights in India

  1. Your post came as a suprise to me that India has gay rights, many eastern countries this issue is not broadcasted. This shows that many countries are more progressive than the US itself.

  2. If you remember, when the point was made in class about there being gay marriage in India I was surprised, and asked for some documentation. I’m very glad one of you found this July 2009 article (written by a friend of mine, actually) and have started to discuss it.

    But now I’d like to ask folks to look more carefully at the news article here. “Gay rights” is discussed, but not “gay marriage.” Indeed the issue here is quite significant: the de-criminalization of homosexuality by striking down the colonial-era anti-sodomy law (Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code).

    Make no mistake: this is extremely important! It’s not that cops were going around arresting gay people, but the point is that gay sex was not now a crime at all. But it’s the beginning of a fight for gay rights and equality, and still quite for from gay marriage.

    Check out an August 2009 article I wrote about this topic, and how activists celebrated the striking down of the anti-sodomy laws, and have tried to use this momentum to fight for more: http://socialistworker.org/2009/08/25/marching-for-lgbt-rights-in-india

    Here are two research questions folks may want to consider: (1) Have anti-sodomy laws been struck down in the US? If so, when? What arguments have been made for and against such laws, and gay rights in general? (2) The articles about Section 377 all say it was a British-era law that was kept in postcolonial India. What can we find out about the history of this British law, and how does the law complicate notions about Western and non-Western attitudes towards alternative sexualities?

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