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rabbit
07-02-2009, 09:57 PM
For years, homosexuality has been technically illegal in India because of a colonial-era law and continued support by religious zealots. On July 2, the High Court declared the law unconstitutional.



With one sweeping judgment Thursday, the Indian High Court decriminalized homosexuality, shook off a stubborn piece of colonial baggage and may have added momentum to a broader regional movement for gay rights. "This is a huge step forward," says Anjali Gopalan, director of the Naz Foundation India Trust, an advocacy group based in New Delhi that successfully brought a public interest petition to overturn India's anti-sodomy law, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. "We can now take the next step forward for the community in securing our rights."

The law was enacted in 1860 by India's British rulers, but the most stubborn opposition to repealing it in India has come from those who argue that homosexuality goes against traditional Indian sensibilities. In July 2001, according to a report last year by Human Rights Watch, four HIV/AIDS outreach workers were arrested under Section 377 for distributing medical literature; a judge denied them bail, accusing them of "polluting the entire society." In 2003, the Indian Home Ministry — then under the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party — argued that it "responded to the values and mores of the time in the Indian society." Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said today's ruling was "against all religions. It is against the culture of Indian society."

The High Court soundly rejected that argument. "Moral indignation, howsoever strong, is not a valid basis for overriding individuals' fundamental rights of dignity and privacy. In our scheme of things Constitutional morality must outweigh the argument of public morality, even if it be the majoritarian view," the court said in its ruling. Going even further, the court found that Section 377 went against the Indian tradition and guiding political principle of inclusiveness.

That sends a strong signal to Indian gay rights activists, who cheered not just the decision but the principle affirming homosexuals as part of Indian society. "It's the first judgment of its kind," says Siddharth Narrain, an attorney with the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore. "It looks at the concept of inclusiveness, not just life and liberty."


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

It is very sad that it's taken such a long time for the law to have been repealed, and even sadder that reactions such as this are common in the country's churches, mosques and temples:



Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona Diocese, head of Pune Catholic Church, said, “This will lead to utter chaos. It will hamper family structure, integrity of human beings and shatter the morality. We will definitely voice our protest though various means. In Pune, I am planning to talk with other religious leaders and decide on our future course of action.”

Dabre said he was of the opinion that homosexuality is an abnormality. “Such people need to be guided. Such ideas are imported from the West and Indian culture doesn’t approve of it.”

Mufti Mohammed Shakir Khan of the Ikramah Education Society, Kondhwa, agreed with Dabre’s opinion.

“It’s absolutely against the nature. Same-sex relationships can’t be accepted. We strongly oppose it and will decide any future course of action in consultation with our religious heads.”


http://www.indianexpress.com/news/---even-as-verdict-on-Section-377-leaves-others-bitter/484360

But the LGBT community is rejoicing right now. Pics from celebration parades:

http://www.daijiworld.com/images1/lbt_070309-1.jpg
http://www.daijiworld.com/images1/lbt_070309-2.jpg
http://www.daijiworld.com/images1/lbt_070309-3.jpg
http://www.daijiworld.com/images1/lbt_070309-4.jpg
http://photos.mybangalore.com/photos/579872739_C7rYQ-M.jpg
http://photos.mybangalore.com/photos/579872902_Kb7uv-M.jpg

Charlie02123
07-02-2009, 10:08 PM
Heartwarming. :)

munchin
07-02-2009, 10:39 PM
Go India!

Kirkus
07-03-2009, 01:16 AM
:overhead_clap:

Jay
07-03-2009, 06:25 AM
yay! :overhead_clap:

:D

Moose
07-03-2009, 07:02 AM
For years, homosexuality has been technically illegal in India because of a colonial-era law and continued support by religious zealots. On July 2, the High Court declared the law unconstitutional.

It is very sad that it's taken such a long time for the law to have been repealed, and even sadder that reactions such as this are common in the country's churches, mosques and temples

Don't think India is the only country where this battle took ages to win, Rabbit. It took until 2003 for the US Supreme Court to rule that states could not make consensual sexual conduct beween two adults of the same sex criminal. Up to that time, 13 states still had laws on the books making gay sex a crime.

missinandre
07-03-2009, 08:40 AM
I had totally forgotten that homosexuality was still illegal in India.

We should have a list of all the countries where homosexuality is still...on the books illegal (not just something not accepted in society, but where it is really illegal and still a criminal act).

missinandre
07-03-2009, 08:41 AM
Don't think India is the only country where this battle took ages to win, Rabbit. It took until 2003 for the US Supreme Court to rule that states could not make consensual sexual conduct beween two adults of the same sex criminal. Up to that time, 13 states still had laws on the books making gay sex a crime.

Did those 13 states also have anal sex between a man and a woman illegal?

munchin
07-03-2009, 11:49 AM
I had totally forgotten that homosexuality was still illegal in India.

We should have a list of all the countries where homosexuality is still...on the books illegal (not just something not accepted in society, but where it is really illegal and still a criminal act).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_rights

missinandre
07-03-2009, 07:00 PM
Wow. Amazing. The numbers are staggering.

Some of those laws blow my mind! And I noticed that many countries have female same sex relationships legal but illegal for men....what's the rationale behind this?

And some countries....wow, a lot of them had to repeal anti-homosexual laws to join the European Union for instance....but they don't have...same sex marriage (some do most dont) same sex adoption laws, homosexuals not allowed to serve in military etc.

Man, you guys really are getting screwed!

munchin
07-03-2009, 07:51 PM
Wow. Amazing. The numbers are staggering.

Some of those laws blow my mind! And I noticed that many countries have female same sex relationships legal but illegal for men....what's the rationale behind this?

And some countries....wow, a lot of them had to repeal anti-homosexual laws to join the European Union for instance....but they don't have...same sex marriage (some do most dont) same sex adoption laws, homosexuals not allowed to serve in military etc.

Man, you guys really are getting screwed!

Rationale implies that there's rational thought involved.

nelslus
07-03-2009, 09:52 PM
Wow. Amazing. The numbers are staggering.

Some of those laws blow my mind! And I noticed that many countries have female same sex relationships legal but illegal for men....what's the rationale behind this?

And some countries....wow, a lot of them had to repeal anti-homosexual laws to join the European Union for instance....but they don't have...same sex marriage (some do most dont) same sex adoption laws, homosexuals not allowed to serve in military etc.

Man, you guys really are getting screwed!

Now, Now, missin....No need to bring up dry in this conversation.....:gorgeous:

Jay
07-04-2009, 12:17 AM
Rationale implies that there's rational thought involved.
Actually, IIRC, in some religions, it's not a sin for two women to have a sexual relationship because there's, according to them, "no penetration" during sex
(As if there's penetration involved during sex for all male homosexual relationships :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:)

munchin
07-04-2009, 02:56 AM
Actually, IIRC, in some religions, it's not a sin for two women to have a sexual relationship because there's, according to them, "no penetration" during sex
(As if there's penetration involved during sex for all male homosexual relationships :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:)

Hmm, I wonder what they think women are doing... Kissing each other politely on the cheek?

Jay
07-04-2009, 03:34 AM
Hmm, I wonder what they think women are doing... Kissing each other politely on the cheek?
lol or having a cup of tea together in bed, I'd imagine. :p

missinandre
07-04-2009, 04:14 AM
Actually, IIRC, in some religions, it's not a sin for two women to have a sexual relationship because there's, according to them, "no penetration" during sex
(As if there's penetration involved during sex for all male homosexual relationships :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:)

Interesting......esp. given that some of these countries are Muslim countries....

tinamarie
07-04-2009, 05:09 AM
Just recently I read an interview with our Secretary/Minister of Justice who is pushing hard for equal rights for same sex couples. In her words: they have the same duties/responsibilties, but not the same rights. While there has been some progress in recent years, there is still a lot to do, especially in the areas of adoption, taxes and retirement payments. To once and for all end discrimination, she wants to amend the constitution. Art. 3 is the anti-discrimination norm, but it doesn't include sexual orientation and Art.6 protects marriage and family, but unfortuntatly so far only marriage between a man and a woman. These are two articles she wants to amend.

The problem is, she needs a 2/3 majority in both chambers of the parliament to amend the constitution and the Conservative Party (CDU/CSU) is not (yet) on board. The Social Democrats and the Green Party would certainly vote in favor of an amendment, not sure about the Liberals. They claim to be a "Human Rights"- party and their longtime leader Westerwelle is gay, so one would think they'd be in favor, but they voted against the legal recognition of same sex relationships in 2001. They might be hesistant to openly go against the Conservatives who are their traditional political partner. They are definitly the Wild Card in this discussion. However, given the current majorities, it won't be possible anyway without the CDU. I am hopeful though that they will come around soon.

jjnow
07-04-2009, 08:54 AM
Just recently I read an interview with our Secretary/Minister of Justice who is pushing hard for equal rights for same sex couples. In her words: they have the same duties/responsibilties, but not the same rights. While there has been some progress in recent years, there is still a lot to do, especially in the areas of adoption, taxes and retirement payments. To once and for all end discrimination, she wants to amend the constitution. Art. 3 is the anti-discrimination norm, but it doesn't include sexual orientation and Art.6 protects marriage and family, but unfortuntatly so far only marriage between a man and a woman. These are two articles she wants to amend.

The problem is, she needs a 2/3 majority in both chambers of the parliament to amend the constitution and the Conservative Party (CDU/CSU) is not (yet) on board. The Social Democrats and the Green Party would certainly vote in favor of an amendment, not sure about the Liberals. They claim to be a "Human Rights"- party and their longtime leader Westerwelle is gay, so one would think they'd be in favor, but they voted against the legal recognition of same sex relationships in 2001. They might be hesistant to openly go against the Conservatives who are their traditional political partner. They are definitly the Wild Card in this discussion. However, given the current majorities, it won't be possible anyway without the CDU. I am hopeful though that they will come around soon.

What is Merkel's position? She's CDU, right?

From what I've read, the CSU is the closest equivalent to Republicans in America. It's funny how in so many countries it's the southern region where conservatism thrives.

suliso
07-04-2009, 09:03 AM
What is Merkel's position? She's CDU, right?

From what I've read, the CSU is the closest equivalent to Republicans in America. It's funny how in so many countries it's the southern region where conservatism thrives.

USA, Germany, Italy - where else?

And a difference is that, unlike in USA or Italy, southern Germany is the richest party of the country (right, Tina?).

tinamarie
07-04-2009, 11:14 AM
What is Merkel's position? She's CDU, right?

From what I've read, the CSU is the closest equivalent to Republicans in America. It's funny how in so many countries it's the southern region where conservatism thrives.

I think her most recent comment on the issue came in a speech she did at the Catholic Academy in Berlin. There she talked about having "respect" for other "life partnerships" (which is the legal term for a same sex marriage here-the word marriage legally only refers to heterosexual marriages) but opposes equal treatment. (:rolleyes: I don't quite get how you can claim to respect someone and then discriminate them...) Considering that she is the daughter of a Protestant minister and her openly critizing the Pope, she does not have the strongest support of Catholic Officials. So to me, she really seemed to be courting the Catholic Church with her speech, who is most certainly the strongest opponent of equal treatment of same-sex marriages here in Germany. It was really disappointing to hear.

As for the comparison of the CSU with the US Republicans: when it comes to social- cultural issues, certainly yes. As far as democratic parties are concerned, they are at the far right end of the scale here. . When it comes to Economical issues, the Liberals are usually at the right, followed by CDU and CSU.



USA, Germany, Italy - where else?

And a difference is that, unlike in USA or Italy, southern Germany is the richest party of the country (right, Tina?).

yes, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are the richest states and the states that have the lowest unemployment rate and the least people living below the poverty- line (? hope that's the word in English...).

scineram
07-05-2009, 05:19 AM
Marriage is between man and woman. Always was.

Miles
07-05-2009, 11:43 AM
Marriage is between man and woman. Always was.

Old idea. Dumb idea.

Humanity is defined by forward progression. Always has been.

munchin
07-05-2009, 12:10 PM
Marriage is between man and woman. Always was.

Er...not in Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts...

owendonovan
07-05-2009, 06:26 PM
Marriage is between man and woman. Always was.

FAIL!!!! same sex people can marry in Iowa, Massachusetts, and soon in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine. HA HA HA!!