Toronto has a fairly high Indian population: that is Indians from India, not people of the First Nations. Well, I guess we have a lot of both, but this post is about India. I don’t normally follow a lot of what is happening that far away, although we often get news clips from various places around the planet.
Today on CBC I heard that the ban on homosexuality in India that dates from the mid-nineteenth century has been overturned. Sometimes I forget: I live in a country where I can legally get married to my husband, yet there is an enormous amount of discrimination around the world.
My naivety was broken (again) when I looked up the news on the subject. Until yesterday, a man in India could be put in jail for up to ten years for doing something that I take for granted. I have always thought of India as a relatively forward-thinking place, populated by forward-thinking people. I was thus surprised at some of the outlooks.
Then again, I should have expected them: after all, the article was called “Homosexuality goes against the human race”. It is ironic that the issue is serving as a point of connection for Christians, Hindus and Muslims in the country. Apparently it is easier for such religious people to bind together against a perceived “threat” than to join in solidarity for more constructive issues.
Some of the comments/opinions expressed in the article I could not help but find offensive. It is a throwback to twenty years ago and beyond. In spite of decades of research and exploration, these myths continue to propagate in many circles. The worst part is, this is not just in distant countries or the third world. There are some in the U.S. and Canada who would agree with these statements.
• “[Homosexuality] is unnatural and inhuman. Because this will ultimately lead to the destruction of the human race… I am talking about the survival of the human race.”
• “We should certainly allow them to be a part of our society with counseling saying that they should not get into this kind of immoral acts.”
• “If some deficiency is left in them we take it into consideration and ask them to change. People do have deficiencies. We keep them as a part of society. We give them extra care and help. We hug them and counsel them.”
• “Homosexuality is abnormal, non humanic (sic) and immoral. They are sick ppl they need treatments.. homosexuality is disgusting and should be banned”
• “Homosexuality is not a crime or sin, but it is not natural either. It is kind of obsession like smoking or drinking.”
• “Nature has never made any exceptions during evolution process. Being Gay is simply a result of timid mindset and reckless thoughts. Also, Wrong upbringing and inculcation of immature decision making is what i believe the sole cause of being gays…”
So much for progressive and forward-thinking mindsets.