Same-sex marriage: A distant reality in India?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Same-sex marriage: A distant reality in India?


    In a landmark ruling, three judges in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, have done away with the ban that was imposed on same-sex marriages in the state of California. US President Obama,who once believed that marriage could only be between a man and a woman,has now backed civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. In India, though,it’s been four years since the Delhi HC made a historic ruling, which decriminalised homosexuality.The Supreme Court is yet to approve the same.
    Samuel Konnur, a business promotion manager and an active member of the LGBT community,says,“Various countries have come out in different ways to show their acceptance of homosexuality and I hope India does it too. It will help a lot in terms of business. For example, in the case of same-sex marriages, the spouse doesn’t get insured and that is a primary reason why a lot of people don’t like to travel to India for business.” Same-sex marriage: A distant reality in India?
While members of the LGBT community in the city will take to the streets and release 400 balloons in celebration of the anniversary of the Delhi HC ruling, they say that acceptance continues to be a big issue. Says Abhishek Agarwal, “Forget marriage, even organizing events for the LGBT community is not easy, as venues are hard to come by. The few parties that have happened have always been at the same place. This year too, we approached several hotspots, but the minute we mentioned that it was for an LGBT do, we were politely refused.”
    But then, there are people like Manvendra Singh Gohil, prince of the royal family of Rajpipla, who are hopeful that the ‘truth will win’. He says, “Like Mahatma Gandhi, I believe in the concept of Satyamev Jayate. No matter when, but change will happen for sure. This is a dispute between humanity and hypocrisy and if we win, it will be based on humanity.” His more immediate concern, though, is not same-sex union, but ensuring that the community enjoys basic human rights. “The government has no right to violate the right to privacy. What is happening in one’s bedroom should be no one else’s concern.”
    Research scholar Nithya, adds, “Marriage is not relevant for me and I will not fight for it. For me, the more important thing is to see how we overcome other challenges. For instance, police oppression of eunuchs never gets highlighted.Without focusing on one trajectory, we need to look at the whole picture.” RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIP IN INDIA: A TIMELINE
September 2006 — Amartya Sen and Vikram Seth came together with other prominent Indians publicly demanding change in legal regime June 30, 2008 — Oscar Fernandez backed calls for decriminalization of consensual gay sex and Manmohan Singh called for greater tolerances towards homosexuality July 23, 2008 — Bombay High Court Judge Bilal Nazki,said that India’s unnatural sex law should be reviewed August 9, 2008 — Anbumani Ramadoss, the then Union Health Minister, campaigned to change Section 377 July 2, 2009 — Homosexual intercourse between consenting adults was decriminalized by Delhi High Court March 27, 2012 — The Supreme Court reserved verdict on a batch of appeals filed against Delhi High Court judgement