Human stupidity never fails to amaze one. Its rather extraordinary that justice took so much time, that a battle raged in court for an issue as absurd as ‘allowing sex between consenting adults’. Sex between consenting adults? Ok..wait..where’s the problem?..is it the sex bit? the consensual bit?..the adult bit?
Frankly, where is the debate?
But that’s the way it has been through history. Absurd notions govern us till someone gets the balls to fight them, and these seemingly ‘radical notions’ pass on to the next generation as common sense. It’s quite often common sense that follows justice. The problems that continue to baffle and perplex us can be resolved with a good measure of it…and often a good measure of compassion. The generations which will follow us will probably look back in amazement at the utter absurdity of it all.
But justice has prevailed, it finally has prevailed and it’s a great day for Indian democracy. I say Indian democracy because it’s an assertion of the values which govern our constitution. It’s an indication that the judiciary and the media have finally matured and, more importantly, that our society is maturing. It’s an assertion that we would not let blind prejudices govern us.
But here's the catch. It’s simply a change in a piece of paper till there is a transformation, a concrete transformation in general human perception and that would take time. But it’s a great victory nonetheless and should take away a fair bit of the stigma attached to the issue. What is has done is that it has taken the issue ‘out of the closet’-it’s got people thinking and people talking, and that’s a great start.
Another major implication of today’s verdict is that by decriminalizing homosexuality, it has transformed homosexuals from being criminals to being human beings, though equal rights are still a long way to go, not to mention protection under the law (there are countries with laws against homophobia instead of homosexuality) and it certainly would be an impetus to the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement.
Yet another implication is that it’s going to instill confidence in people still in the closet, give them the courage to come out and to be themselves, and the more that happens, the more we become honest as a society. I’ve seen and met gay people and I know the trauma they go through, the entire process of denial, how many of them are disowned by their families, and how they lie-to themselves and to those around them, how they force themselves into heterosexual relationships with more lives ruined in the process.
What the verdict also, unfortunately means is that the opposition that the movement had is going to get stiffer as well. Now that the gay rights movement is organized, and more importantly, because they have achieved something tangible, the opposition, which was hitherto unorganized and randomly spread, is going to get organized as well. India’s a huge, complex country, with a dozen voices coming from a dozen directions. You’re about to see zealots and fanatics, claiming moral superiority, each one with something extraordinary to say, and I suspect that it’s going to be a pretty ugly affair.
Talking about homophobia now. Look around and you’ll find it everywhere. You’ll find it in an offhand remark, quite a few of our jokes are pathetically homophobic, and you’ll see its more brutal forms in conservative theocracies where gay sex is punishable by death. (http://atheism.about.com/b/2005/07/25/iran-gay-teens-executed-by-hanging.htm ). And then there are some funny stereotypes we've constructed. Your typical gay man would be seen as a promiscuous, uncaring, effeminate hippie. Its high time that that perception starts to change.
I was seeing this video on youtube the other day on this issue and I'd end by quoting the piece that was quoted in that video. Its a beautiful piece by Omar Khayyam..and it fits.
"So i be written in the book of love,
I care not about the book above
Erase my name, or write it, as you please--
So I be written in the Book of Love"
Let love be sirs, even if it goes against your cherished notions of love. Their love is as real to them as ours is to us, comes as naturally to them as it does to us. And the least we can do is to let it be.