FROM DECRIMINALISATION to general acceptance lies a long and winding road. When the Naz Foundation and Voices Against 377 protested classification of non-heterosexual sex as an “unnatural offence” under the draconian Section 377, they took the first step. The Delhi High Court marched the cause ahead in its landmark 2009 decision, which unequivocally said, “Discrimination is the antithesis of equality.”
One step forward, two steps back. Fifteen anti-gay rights groups and individuals filed petitions to reverse the decision, each pushing a sectarian agenda. Concerned that someone may trespass upon their minority quota, the Apostolic Churches Alliance said the “judgment will lead to reservation for the homosexual community”. Baba Ramdev’s spokesperson rehashed that old chestnut about homosexuality spreading AIDS. A former BJP Rajya Sabha MP, BP Singhal incoherently argued, “If homosexuality is legalised, then other offences such as gambling, sati and sale of organs will also have to be legalised.
To not lose the momentum of the movement, a group of 19 parents of lesbian, gay and transgendered people joined hands and matched steps with the original petitioners to defend the decision. The Supreme Court is expected to conclude its hearings for and against the Delhi High Court’s verdict this week.
In a way, the parents’ journey mirrors that of their children. They struggled with similar milestones of doubt, ignorance, denial and rejection. By speaking out, they are helping map a route for others, to understanding and acceptance.
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