By a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that laws denying same-sex couples the right to marry violate the “due process” and “equal protection” guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
“There is no word in our language that can describe us. How we feel for each other,” protests Sita, with great remorse, to her lover Radha in Deepa Mehta’s controversial 1998 film “Fire.”
The film’s portrayl of the same-sex relationship outraged the moral police and they went around doing their usual stuff. Breaking windows, burning effigies and yelling slogans until the Censor Board had to re-examine the film. Mehta sumitted a 17-page petition stating the freedom of speech and the film was re-relased without any cuts in 1999.
One must think that with the advancements of technology and more and more people getting education their mentality would also improve. Barring a few, the mentality of most people remains the same. Their thinking regarding the LGBT community has not changed and there are many strong forces that do not see the progress of this community.
India has yet to accept that being a part of the LGBT community is not a crime. The law under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code still stands. Though Delhi High Court ruled out this law in 2009, the Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2013.
Recently this year, India once again showed their double standards when it supported many countries against UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon’s decision to give gay rights to the UN staff. Though the law passed, but the question left behind is a question on India’s stand on LGBT.
Homophobia was clearly shown when the new censor board muted the word ‘lesbian’ in the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. This came just after the list of cuss words to be banned was released. So the censor board thinks that lesbian is an abusive word too.
I strongly oppose the idea of criminalizing homosexuality. It is an unfortunate situation in a country like India that is developing and modern. India has great potential for achieving greatness but with this decision somewhere something is lost. When will the people understand that sexual pattern of an individual is by birth? The law cannot control as to whom we love. Religions ask everyone to respect and accept each individual as they are. In a place like India where people blindly follow their religion, people have a hard time coming to terms with that. It is high time that the law should think of better ways to make it acceptable in the Indian society.