Written by: Vikranth Prasanna
Recently there has been an argument about LGBT community should focus on fighting for sexual rights and other livelihood rights like Relationship, Marriage, Adoption and Surrogacy are a long way to go, i disagree with many of them...And here i would stress the importance of working for livelihood rights for LGBT community in general...
I agree that Delhi Highcourt judgement on Section 377 uplifted LGBT movement in India. Since 2009 we are witnessing several Pride marches in India which is visibilizing the LGBT issues to the Public, Government and Media.
At the same time we are also self evaluating ourself on our fight against discrimination of LGBT. Not every single queer man/woman is an activist neither he/she aware of the World history on LGBT rights. The simple question from the aam aadmi today is “Did the judgement on Section 377 make any impact on my life or Will the Supreme court judgement going to change my life?” Probably not…
When someone asks me this question I find he/she has a point. Neither colonial law 377 nor the high court ruling in 2009 stopped or encouraged people to have same sex. In the history of India there were only 30 cases or so been charged under section 377. I don’t think most of the Policemen in India were aware of existence of such law. Most of the LGBT individuals until 2009 were not aware of it either . Probably this law was helping Police to harass people who were cruising in public places and sex workers. Thanks to all the activists and NGOs now people can do that without fear and harassment.
What is this civil rights we are talking about? Are we going to live in a free country if homosexuality has been legalized in India? No ofcourse not, there are several other such laws and practices exist on livelihood of our people based on caste, religion, family values, dowry system, discrimination against women etc which does not provide fundamental rights to every Indian citizen based on equality.
It is ok to follow the western model, but not all western models can suit to Indian condition and tradition. Unlike west, Marriage provides the social respect and identity in Indian families. Sexual rights has never been considered as part of the Indian society, it is a western ideology. Here most of the men and women lives based on Marriage institution. Infact I am afraid by advocating for sexual rights rather than rights for livelihood, we might directly questioning the very essence of Indian family values which might affect our fight against LGBT discrimination.
Marriage allows a couple that is sexually committed to have a social category that encompasses more than their sexual intimacy. LGBT indivuals are denied this right, and are forced to categorize their de facto spouse as a mere "partner". Marriage is important towards the ultimate goal of equality not merely because it bestows equal rights but because it forces traditional mindsets to reevaluate the nature of homosexual relationships.
When homosexual individuals are denied equal rights of marriage as heterosexual individuals, they are given a choice between their identity and their desires for family and companionship, as well as legal benefits. The moment when a homosexual individual, more often than not a vulnerable and confused teenager, realizes his/her sexuality is a fragile one. They are split between a choice, come to terms with their sexuality, a part of their identity, and follow the 'gay lifestyle.' Or deny it, and continue living a pretense as a heterosexual man/woman. The sad truth is, many people choose the second, to the harm of themselves, their future spouses, their children and all those who care about their happiness.
Knowing you will be denied marriage, you have to choose to sacrifice all you dreamed about for your traditional wedding, for your old-fashioned family life, your children, and settle instead for 'the gay lifestyle' of multiple sex partners, a bachelor's pad, and disease that society wrongfully tells you is the inevitable fate for homosexual. This theory is false, and no one should feel forced to choose between these options.
As many says fight for Same sex marriage rights, adoption and other legal benefits for LGBT people are long way to go…but I hope we wont wait long time to start the fight.
Written by: Vikranth Prasanna