Imagine having a secret.
A secret so terriblethat if you were to reveal it, your family would disown you, your neighbours will sayyou are diseased, and people everywhere would accuse you of being in violation of not onlysociety’s rules, but also nature itself.
Now imagine there being a way out.
What ifyou could tell someone this secret? What if no one judged you when you did this? Whatif people heard your great secret and still accepted you as normal, as an equal, and respectedyou for who you were despite this secret.
For millions of homosexual people in India,the fight over Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is about about the difference betweenthese two worlds.
It is about respect.
It is a fight to be recognized as normal as wellas a fight to be allowed to live and love without the State watching and judging.
In recent times, there has been a lot of discussion about how the role of Government should belimited to governing instead of telling how people live their lives.
Section 377 is a legal provision that allows authorities to interfere with the way an Indiancitizen lives his or her life.
By saying that people of the LGBT community are somehow againstsociety and the order of nature, Section 377 makes it legal for them to be treated differentlyby the law and by society.
The clause, which is part of the remains ofan archaic British legal code, has been an endless source of grief for the LGBT communityin India.
Because of it, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual people are effectively labelledcriminals and as a result of it, face many difficulties when they are in need of legalassistance or social support.
For the rest of us, no matter who we are,this fight should matter.
When one individual’s freedoms are violated, everyone’s rightsare threatened.
If we allow the state to discriminate against citizens on the basis of their sexualorientation, we are basically paving the path for the state to discriminate on other frontstoo.
LGBT rights are everyone’s rights.