Text Size:

Thank you dear subscribers, we are overwhelmed with your response.

Your Turn is a unique section from ThePrint featuring points of view from its subscribers. If you are a subscriber, have a point of view, please send it to us. If not, do subscribe here: https://theprint.in/subscribe/

‘The love that dare not speak its name has many enemies and fewer friends historically. Tamil Literature has not even acknowledged the humour, let alone gay love or sexuality. But, present Tamilnadu formed Third Genders Welfare Board and appointed the first Transwoman in State Development Council and Madras High court directed to register a marriage between a man and a transgender woman. LGBTQ community has always been the source of not just ridicule but political violence. In the quest for Social Justice, who deserves it better than the original subalterns?

It is unfortunate that India has seen the LGBTQ conjugal rights under the prism of ‘right to privacy’ to decriminalize them. Society was oblivious to the fact that sexuality is neither a choice nor a lifestyle. Sexuality is a spectrum; not a bicameral chamber of gender. The right to feel like a man or a woman is as fundamental as a right can be. It is in that vein that the word “sex” in clause 1 of Article 15 of the Indian constitution should be interpreted as sexuality, not as a gender. In layman’s terms, neither the government nor the public can discriminate against a section of people for their sexuality. Thus, existing laws will suffice instead of enacting new laws for gay marriages as one can’t discriminate on marriages.

The right to marriage and all spousal privileges is the next battleground for LGBTQ in India after decriminalization. The biggest hurdle for that next level is the dubious claims of infringement of religious rights. Upholding the ancient notion that Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman is inconsistent with the strides humanity made in the past two millennia. No democratic government now recognizes the divine-right theory of kingship, which once considered a religious doctrine. Barbaric religious practices such as Sati and human sacrifices are banned by the democratic governments. In Dr .Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s words, “True religion is a revolutionary force: it is an inveterate enemy of oppression, privilege, and injustice.” 

What once perceived as tenants of religion has later been abhorred and abandoned by its humane followers; Slavery is a classical example. A religion should focus on the spirituality of its followers, not sexuality. It would be an irony if religion refuses fellowship to anybody for them being in love.

The patronage of society is an intangible but indispensable privilege. A straight man or woman learns from society about love and family. Forestalling and regulating one’s sexual awakening from lust into love and familial is the greatest gift a heterogeneous father bestows on his (straight) son or daughter. Sans this familial and social guidance, budding LGBTQ teenagers turn into sexual vagabonds as society gladly labels them. As a public display of affection acts storm the social media as reels, dubsmashes, and other nauseous forms, LGBTQ youth just feel how much they miss out on mainstream society. Because they know if they emulate the same behavior it will only be viewed as public indecency. LGBTQ can’t daydream of swoon-worthy marriage proposals, can’t window shop their wedding dresses, can’t be bridezillas, or can’t even circulate their horoscope among their meddlesome uncles and aunts to find them a suitable (same-sex) match. If an Indian LGBTQ’s life is a food, it is without the masala everyone else does have. 

Socially liberal governments like Kerala, Tamilnadu, and Maharashtra, etc. can approach Supreme Court to clarify whether the word ‘sex’ in the constitution refers to gender or includes sexuality. They can recognize gay marriages as marriages are between two human beings, not just between two genders. Tamilnadu can include amendments in Special Marriage Act, 1954 for gay marriages. State governments with Government Orders can remove barriers to recruiting LGBTQ in government and private jobs. State governments should bring Transgender men and women under the umbrella of reservation both in education and employment, as they truly are a suppressed community.

State governments should start residential educational institutions just for LGBTQ community teenagers who are abandoned by their families so as to prevent them from prostitution. Government banks should come forward to give educational loans and business loans for the LGBTQ community preferably without a surety. The Union government should magnanimously remove restrictive laws so that LGBTQ men and women either can adopt children or have their own child via scientific advancements like surrogacy. In short, our constitution should expand the liberties of people; not contract them.

Also read: YourTurn/SubscriberWrites: Why we must defend everyone’s right to disagree, but not let it divide us beyond repair

These pieces are being published as they have been received – they have not been edited/fact-checked by ThePrint.