Thursday, July 2, 2009

India Decriminalizes Gay Sex

YES! An archaic and oppressive law leftover from British colonial rule finally falls in India. I can only hope and pray that this indicates a domino effect for other former British colonies! If you grew up with Ovaltine, Enid Blyton, tea, marmalade, and your parents remember when money was shillings, you mus know is you mi chattin to! Heh. This is great news people, this will be a huge step for human rights. In places where old colonial "buggery" laws still exist (like Jamaica), violence towards LGBTQ folks are not only "justified" by interpretations of religious text (religious text that usually also recommends stoning adulterers to death. Not seeing that so much.), but also are given more cultural legitimacy when the law says same-sex sexual activity is illegal. At some point, it becomes forgotten that these were not our laws, and it becomes ingested along with other toxic, community fracturing and disenfranchizing elements of colonialism. I blogged more about Jamaica and historical factors that contribute to our brand of homophobia here.

This is amazing news, it gives me hope for more change on a global level! The Huffington Post reports:

In what many are calling "India's Stonewall", the New Delhi High Court on Thursday decriminalized homosexual intercourse between consenting adults, by striking down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. This law labels gay sex to be an "unnatural offense", punishable with up to ten years in prison.

Drafted in 1860, this Colonial-era law was brought into effect by the British, and was in line with similar anti-homosexuality legislation passed in England at the time. In the past decade, gay rights activists and lawyers have strived hard to abrogate Section 377, calling it "inhuman", and as the Naz Foundation, which filed the petition to abolition 377 in 2001 argued, a violation of constitutional rights to privacy and equality.
Amazing. May the decolonization process continue for all former colonies, more power, more power! And may other straight allies also step up to these useless and hateful laws, so our LGBTQ brothers and sisters don'thave to do this alone!

Heh... I suspect that some of my more recently reconnected Jamaican friends via facebook must be like "Woy... Richard really serious bout dis ting!"

Sweet. I leave you with a suggestion. I highly recommend watching Deepa Mehta's "Fire" with friends to celebrate this victory, and stimulate discussion. Peep the trailer! Bless up

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Btw, I love this picture of celebrating women in India. To have your expression of love not be a crime... long time coming.