Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Interpreting judgment on decriminalization of homosexuality

I don’t accept organized religion. Especially as and when it seeks to subjugate the equal rights of women and circumscribe human freedom. When it indoctrinates children into its zombied restrictions and world-view. But I accept the right of people to practice the religion of their choice.

This is not a contradiction but a simple premise modern society rests on: the covenant of disagreement. Multiple world-views and lifestyles as long as the constitution lays down the ground rules in which these should exist – The right to privacy, the right to choice, protection against exploitation.

We might not agree with many alternative interpretations of our world but that does not negate their right to exist.

The judgment on Article 377, in my opinion, is an affirmation of this. As Pratap Bhanu Mehta points here: “What the court says is this. Under our constitutional scheme, no person ought to be targeted or discriminated against for simply being who they are.”


A lot of articles I have read are interpreting the ruling as a social acceptance of homosexuality. It is not. It only clarifies the role of the constitution in moral debates and rules that as long as lifestyles do not violate the constitutional tenets of exploitation and violation of rights and privacies of others, the state doesn’t have the right of violating the privacy of individuals. In short, it says that the state cannot be the vehicle of common morality.

This distinction is very important.

The uninformed interpretation of the ruling might push the social debate on homosexuality back to the state; whereas the ruling has pushed debates of morality back to the society where they come from, clarifying the role of the state as just an ensurer of equality of rights.

I fear the state immensely because they own the police and the army. And my morality is a condition of my context, and every time life brings me to a point where I might want to differ from the commonly-accepted morality, I do not want to look uneasily behind my back.

The Gestapo rounded up the homosexuals. But so did it round up the Jews, the Gypsies, and all political dissidents. This is where the judgment comes from – state policing in a modern society has to be free of common prejudices.
Homosexuality has been de"criminalized" by the law. The battle to get it de"sinned" is rooted in social perceptions.

The constitution has done its role in defining this. Advocates of homosexuality have won a major battle – the battle of rights.
But they should win the battle of acceptance in the social arena and not extrapolate the judgment to the social space where it takes pains to dissociate itself from. Otherwise, they’ll be doing a lot of harm to their cause, and other causes.

2 comments:

TradeExpress said...

but we have laws governing vulgarity right?

TradeExpress said...

but we have laws governing vulgarity right?