Ira Trivedi is the author of nine books, including India in Love: Major Hindu texts such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana are replete with such themes, and in several cases hijras are seen as demigods and celebrated for being in between genders. Premarital sex is becoming both more common and more commonly discussed in the media, but organized spaces for young people to talk about sex and gender are few and far between. July 24, , 6: In , the Supreme Court unexpectedly overturned the earlier judgment and once again made gay sex a crime. Although these numbers are not huge, according to Anjali Gopalan, a founder of the Naz Foundation, a gay rights and HIV advocacy organization, the police and other authorities use Section to harass, exploit, and extort. It may seem strange that India is so progressive when it comes to trans rights yet remains regressive when it comes to gay rights, but the answer lies in Indian history. Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century.
The right-wing government, headed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has not helped the matter. There is a fierce backlash against modernity and Westernization, as well as a growing tension between the old and the new. A positive judgment in Kenya, combined with the Indian precedent, might lead the way for other African nations. In India, according to available public figures , in , 1, Section cases were recorded. In , the Supreme Court unexpectedly overturned the earlier judgment and once again made gay sex a crime. Since the passing of the bill, many trans people have taken political office and other important roles; India has an openly transgender mayor and MP. As a result, it has kicked the issue over to the courts instead of taking it up through legislation. A positive judgment would set a legal precedent across the 36 Commonwealth countries that still have draconian laws against gay sex. Based on the proceedings so far, rainbow flags are waving. July 24, , 6: India already has a complex legal system in which each religion has a parallel legal system of personal laws that govern civil laws. Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century. Major Hindu texts such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana are replete with such themes, and in several cases hijras are seen as demigods and celebrated for being in between genders. Enforcement of the law has been sporadic. Given the momentum of this revolution, change is inevitable, and the ruling on will hopefully herald an era of openness while signaling the decline of old restrictions. Ira Trivedi is the author of nine books, including India in Love: But if Section were revoked, the space for various other civil rights, such as the right to marriage, property, and adoption, would open up for LGBT people. While the government wants to create a suave, digitally inclined, and modern-minded India that can compete with the rest of the world, many voters remain deeply conservative. In , Kenya adopted a law like Section , and court proceedings that began this year may finally lead to the decriminalization of homosexuality. Contrary to the acceptance and at times celebration of transgender people, homosexuality has historically been taboo in Indian culture—possibly because of the traditional emphasis placed on family and the continuation of family lines through reproduction. Premarital sex is becoming both more common and more commonly discussed in the media, but organized spaces for young people to talk about sex and gender are few and far between. In , there was a National Crime Records Bureau data show that cases—a majority—were crimes committed against children, rather than consensual sex among adults. Young Indians are building up the self-confidence to come out of the closet, but laws such as Section make it unsafe for them to so. Couples are choosing to make their own marital choices, but so-called honor killings have soared by an estimated percent. As India barrels into the 21st century, a progressive, fast-urbanizing, and young country is fighting for change against conservative, traditional forces struggling to maintain their control. It may seem strange that India is so progressive when it comes to trans rights yet remains regressive when it comes to gay rights, but the answer lies in Indian history.
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