So, the old year is over, and what a year it was! With Saudi women fighting for the right to drive, Afghanistan having its first female air force pilot graduate in thirty years, east asian countries such as Vietname giving more rights to its LGBT minorities and much more. But if you ask us what the most important/most interesting news of the year was, we’re of the opinion it’s the Indian Supreme Court reinstating a ban on homosexuality.
The first reason is that it affects 60 million people, estimating the gay and lesbian population as 5 % of India’s 1.2 billion. The second, and more exciting reason, is that the ruling has already sparked a lively debate among young Indians. Now, a lot has been written about the ban, and we’ll follow it closely on this blog, but for our readers new to this issue, here’s a write up to get you up to speed:
In 2009 the Delhi High Court ordered the decriminilization of homosexual acts, doing away with section 377, an 153-year-old colonial-era law, in which same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offence” and punishable by a 10-year jail term. However after several political, social and religious groups had petitioned the Supreme Court the law was reinstated.
While proponents of the law regard homosexuality as unnatural and defending it a western import, opponents point out the obvious irony; The west didn’t “invent” anything, homosexual sex was known in India and referenced in classical art, it’s the law that forbids it that was imported in colonial times.
(source: Jalsajilpa Tumblr)
In the meantime the government is seeking a review of the Supreme Court judgement. Now, while the review might go either way, it’s already sparking a lively debate among Indians both gay and straight.
Here’s two of our favorite video’s that show just that. One is of comedian and Vlogger Kanan Gill walking around Bangalore asking people’s opinions on homosexuality and the new law:
This one is quite hilarious, popular actor Imran Khan clearing up a few misconceptions on homosexuality: