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Old 4th July 2009, 18:46   #61
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I did not want to clutter up a previously long post, but this is also not the first time that section 377 has been touched upon, reviewed and recommended to be altered in India.

I quote from freerepublic.com from an article posted on 25th June 2009

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Fifth Law Commission in 1971: The first review of section 377, conducted by this panel headed by jurist K V K Sundaram, followed the repeal in 1967 of a similar ban on homosexuality in Britain. Much as it appreciated Britain’s new position that an act that fell in the realm of private morality and did no harm to others could not be penalised, the commission still felt that there were “a few sound reasons for retaining the existing law in India”. Adopting a conservative view, the commission was: “We are inclined to think that Indian society, by and large, disapproves of homosexuality and this disapproval is strong enough to justify it being treated as a criminal offence even where adults indulge in it in private.”

Despite such reluctance to rock the boat, the commission could not help suggesting two significant reforms to section 377. It said that the heading of the provision should change from “unnatural offences” to “buggery”. Since unnatural offences have been defined to include not just buggery but also bestiality, the commission suggested that animals be kept out of the purview of section 377. Further, it said that the maximum penalty for buggery be reduced from 10 years to two years while prescribing a more severe penalty for paedophiles committing this offence.
In 1971, Homosexuality was separated from bestiality and paedophilia by the commission. It was defined as "Buggery" and while still an offence, is was described as a milder offence than the other crimes.

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Fourteenth Law Commission in 1997: Headed by former Supreme Court judge K Jayachandra Reddy, this commission reiterated the need to amend section 377 so that its focus shifts from criminalizing homosexuality to cracking down on “the growing incidence of child sexual abuse”. It sought to serve this purpose by proposing a minimum sentence of two years for those who commit the offence on a person less than 18 years.
By 1997, Homosexuality was only a crime on paper by the recommendation of the law commission. The law commission recognised that it had greater issues at hand.

While this was a positive step, it still left all homosexuals as "unpunished felons."

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Fifteenth Law Commission in 2000: The clearest signal to emulate the British precedent of decriminalising homosexuality came from this panel chaired by former Supreme Court judge B P Jeevan Reddy. For, it recommended that no sexual intercourse between adults, whether heterosexual or otherwise, should be penalised unless it was non-consensual. Accordingly, the commission proposed that the definition of rape should be made “gender-neutral” so that a non-consensual sexual act committed on a person of the same sex was also covered by it. As a corollary, it said that section 377 would have to go as homosexuality per se could no more be treated as an offence.
By 2000 the chair of the Law commission had already recommended that Homosexuality should not be penalized. The commission also proposed to include same-sex rape in the IPC.

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“In the light of the change affected by us in section 375 (definition of rape), we are of the opinion that section 377 deserves to be deleted... (as) the only content left in section 377 is having voluntary carnal intercourse with any animal. We may leave such persons to their just desserts,” the commission said, with a touch of irony.
The deletion of section 377 will also take away the criminal stigma of having sex with animals. Though I sincerely doubt that anyone in the history of India has actually been arrested for having sex with a buffalo, chicken or goat... still, for argument's sake, this shows an equality to all sexual orientation as per my original debate with Greenhorn.

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The irony seems to have been lost on the government as its counsel made out before the high court that none of the law commissions over the years had ever called for any change in section 377.
Well, I guess nobody realised that this was the fourth instance actually.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th July 2009 at 18:58.
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Old 4th July 2009, 19:28   #62
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I have a question about the title - is it Indian morality? or Indian legality? )(excuse the english) - its not like the average common man has his opinion changed - its that the law no longer makes it illegal!
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Old 4th July 2009, 19:35   #63
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I have a question about the title - is it Indian morality? or Indian legality? )(excuse the english) - its not like the average common man has his opinion changed - its that the law no longer makes it illegal!
as posted by setuniket, Legal morality is not equal to public morality. I suppose this is both. Indian Legal Morality
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Old 4th July 2009, 19:38   #64
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I have a question about the title - is it Indian morality? or Indian legality? )- its not like the average common man has his opinion changed - its that the law no longer makes it illegal!
I felt that the courage to change our penal code reflects on our collective morality progressing as a nation.

The legal battle may be symbolic. As rightly pointed out by many, while gay people may have been ostracized socially, it isn't often that you hear of a person going to jail for being gay. I completely understand that this may not result in a drastic change for gay couples on a social level.

But the willingness to adapt our law to social circumstances shows progression of morality. After all, morals were incorporated into our constitution too.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th July 2009 at 19:42.
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Old 4th July 2009, 19:44   #65
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Whether you like it or not, homosexuality is not a crime in India and is no longer punishable in the court of law. I brought this news to you and presented it as a progression.
Eternally grateful for the enlightenment.

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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Many have presented a mature and sensible viewpoint, some have merely shown great immaturity by declaring homosexulaity to be a sickness and likening homosexuality to incest, bestiality and rape. (Honestly, I have many gay friends and I find this comparison way too sickening to even discuss further, it's just sad and I'd like to leave it at that)
Please don't pass verdicts on others in an open forum. What you call a mature behavior could be immature for others. I too have many friends who have good or bad habits or might be suffering from some or the other disease, so should I stop calling them friends? Having too many gay friends is no justification for the issue. I have too many friends evading taxes(HRA & medical bills), numbers don't justify the act.

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Some find homosexuality to be western apism. I find this statement hugely amusing.
Well, good for you. All I can say is supporting homosexuality has become a fashion.

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India had openly homosexual people in its earliest recorded civilizations. Most great and ancient civilizations have had homosexual references and recorded history.
Most of this ancient history was written before cross-civilation contact was established. (Unless you think the Indians were aping the Greeks then, lol)
Like I said, its a sickness. Being homosexual doesn't mean aping west. But supporting homosexuality definitely implies so(the urge to be labelled "liberal"). Please read the comments again.

Sam-
I have immense respect for your linguistic and story telling abilities but that doesn't mean you can opine on behalf of others. If you have started a discussion then respect the debate or else team bhp shall lose its essence.
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:06   #66
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Originally Posted by huntrz View Post


Please don't pass verdicts on others in an open forum. What you call a mature behavior could be immature for others. I too have many friends who have good or bad habits or might be suffering from some or the other disease, so should I stop calling them friends? Having too many gay friends is no justification for the issue.
No justification is required sir. It is my opinion that calling homosexuality a sickness is immature. I opine only for myself.

I fail to see where the suggestion to cease friendship with your friends who are sick arose.
Actually what is the issue? I am not feigning confusion.

I expressed horror at homosexuality being compared to incest and rape. If in your opinion this expression of horror is incorrect and being gay is just as bad as raping children, so be it. You are entitled to your opinion.
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Like I said, its a sickness.
Thankfully, your saying it in this definitive way doesn't make it a fact.

This statement too is merely your opinion and I do not confront it. But I'd recommend a little study. Even the reading of the case at hand (someone kindly posted a pdf transcript) might change your opinion.

It might. I will not attempt to change your opinion. But it would be interesting for you to know that no branch of modern medicine or science considers homosexuality as a sickness.

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Being homosexual doesn't mean aping west. But supporting homosexuality definitely implies so(the urge to be labelled "liberal").
This too is your opinion, though you don't say it. It may have been made on my behalf. I do not wish to confront it either.

I support freedom. Sexual or otherwise.

I seek no labels. I live and let live. I do not seek to preach liberation and freedom or equality. I am an ordinary man with no right to preach.

I was merely taking pride in a fact about sexual freedom that is now supported by the constitution of my country.

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Sam-
I have immense respect for your linguistic and story telling abilities but that doesn't mean you can opine on behalf of others. If you have started a discussion then respect the debate or else team bhp shall lose its essence.
Thank you for those words. The respect is reciprocated.

The respect is the essence of this forum. However , you have done above exactly what you accuse me of. Opined on my behalf.

I did not start a discussion on homosexuality. I've stated my intention earlier.

We're not discussing the pros and cons of being gay. Nor about whether we agree on homosexuality or not. That is neither a debate nor a discussion here.


One last thing:
You took great offence at my statement which implied that you were immature. (though my statement was not directed at you alone, there are many who think like you) Yet you show no qualms at stating on an open forum that all gay people are sick.

Nevermind the rest of the internet, can you safely assume that there are no gay Team-BHPians?

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th July 2009 at 20:22.
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:13   #67
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What
two men or
two women or
two women with two men or
one man and 20 women or
20 men with one woman
do in the privacy of their house with no force or compulsion is their personal choice.

The law or you or I have no biz deciding it for them.

Of course if they were conspiring to bring down the world and civilisation then we have to stop them.

But them being a homosexual or hetrosexual or bisexual has no impact on anyone except them. So let them be.

btw with the high population growth in India, would it not be nice if the Govt gave a subsidy to Gay couples.
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:21   #68
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
You took great offence at my statement which implied that you were immature. (though my statement was not directed at you alone, there are many who think like you) Yet you show no qualms at stating on an open forum that all gay people are sick.
I would say that he is conservative, at the worst, ignorant. There is no shortage of mature people who won't hesistate before saying that they feel that homosexuality is a disease or a disorder, and that all homosexuals are , as it has been put, sick.

Whether it is or not is also a matter of opinion and personal morality. Just because someone's opinions don't conform to yours does not mean that they are immature.

Last edited by greenhorn : 4th July 2009 at 20:26.
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:24   #69
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Whether it is or not is also a matter of opinion. Just because someone's opinions don't conform to yours does not mean that they are immature.
Well put there. I agree.

Perhaps I got carried away by the heat of moment.

I apologise to anyone that I may have implied was immature. Including you huntrz.

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I would say that he is conservative, at the worst, ignorant.
I don't think he would like being called ignorant either.



I still have one point to make. Those who are not like us, may not be sick. They may not be suffering from a sickness, they may just be different.

I still ask, is it fair to imply that gay people are sick?
Is it less offensive to be called sick when compared to immature?
Does that go unchecked?
Do we need a gay BHPian to stand up and take offence to that statement?

Or is respect not a factor when judging homosexuality?

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th July 2009 at 20:35.
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:46   #70
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I don't think he would like being called ignorant either.



I still have one point to make. Those who are not like us, may not be sick. They may not be suffering from a sickness, they may just be different.

I still ask, is it fair to imply that gay people are sick?
But the fact that homosexuality is a disease/disorder is an obsolete scientific view, which is not currently accepted by the WHO or by indian courts ( there has been a ruling regarding this earlier)

Most major groups (such as religions) which are openly against homosexuals have worse views anyway(that it is plain wrong, not just a deviation).
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:50   #71
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Like a great man once said. "India's having a population crisis. We could do with a few homo's".
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:56   #72
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But the fact that homosexuality is a disease/disorder is an obsolete scientific view, which is not currently accepted by the WHO or by indian courts ( there has been a ruling regarding this earlier)
Oh absolutely greenie, absolutely.

The IPC has no provision for any sicknesses. From Kleptomania, dipsomania, necromania and peotillomania to being plain mad or the urge to rape and/or kill. No provision is made for sick people in our law.

Thankfully the Chief Justice and our legal system do not see homosexuality as a sickness either.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th July 2009 at 20:58.
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Old 4th July 2009, 21:02   #73
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I would say that he is conservative, at the worst, ignorant. There is no shortage of mature people who won't hesistate before saying that they feel that homosexuality is a disease or a disorder, and that all homosexuals are , as it has been put, sick.

Whether it is or not is also a matter of opinion and personal morality. Just because someone's opinions don't conform to yours does not mean that they are immature.
Calling someone sick just because they don't confirm to one's own sexual orientation is far worse than calling someone immature. And respecting other's right to choose their lifestyles is one of the signs of maturity.

It reminds me of what Voltaire had said after reading an article by Rousseau-
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This for me is the true hallmark of any mature rational person.

Last edited by Astleviz : 4th July 2009 at 21:04.
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Old 4th July 2009, 21:21   #74
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If there are any Gays on TBHP, it's a good opportunity to come out of the closet. Maybe it would be a good idea to hear their point of view rather than all non gays arguing about gays and their issues.
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Old 4th July 2009, 21:26   #75
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I would say that he is conservative, at the worst, ignorant. There is no shortage of mature people who won't hesistate before saying that they feel that homosexuality is a disease or a disorder, and that all homosexuals are , as it has been put, sick.
I accept that I am conservative and have no ambitions to be labelled otherwise if the asking price is to defy simple notions of commonsense and nature, but ignorant is a term I would attach to people who outsource their thought process to others rather than taking the pain of evaluating the issue with a rational mind. I am pretty sure that all the people who cared to present their opinion on the thread are far from ignorant.
As you said being on one side of the argument doesn't make those on the other side ignorant(or immature). I still stand by the words(with permission from deepclutch) that homosexuality is a disease at the same time I would rather like to see India embrace homosexuals than to criminalize them to appease religious groups.

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But the fact that homosexuality is a disease/disorder is an obsolete scientific view, which is not currently accepted by the WHO or by indian courts ( there has been a ruling regarding this earlier)
Most major groups (such as religions) which are openly against homosexuals have worse views anyway(that it is plain wrong, not just a deviation).
Come on greenhorn, do you really need someone else to declare something before you can have an opinion. Does this mean that before HC's verdict you really treated homosexuals as criminals? Would you wait for WHO to declare Swine flu an epidemic before taking precautions.

Last edited by huntrz : 4th July 2009 at 21:34.
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