Criminal to be gay?
Section 377 IPC, framed in 1860, defines homosexuality as a crime. Delhi Times examines the relevance of this archaic law
A number of countries worldwide might have legalised gay and lesbian rights, but India is still governed by Section 377 of the IPC. Framed in 1860 by the British (ironically, this law was repealed in the UK in 1967), this anachronistic law brands consensual adult love between people of the same sex as sodomy, and imposes punishment as extreme as life imprisonment. The reality is that male-male sex is not uncommon in India. In fact, a recent study reveals that close to 10 per cent unmarried men and 3 per cent married men report sex with other men.
"The problem doesn't lie only with the law but also with its interpretation. It states that the act of being caught with someone having unnatural sex is a criminal offence," says gay activist Shaleen Rakesh of the Naaz Foundation, "While this could apply to heterosexual relationships as well, the law has been misused to harass gays." Adds Supreme Court lawyer Amit Khemka: "Yes, this law could apply just as well to heterosexuals. It's high time Section 377 was changed or removed, specially when sex is no longer seen as something procreative -- it's a statement."
MCC responds to Vatican attack on feminism
LOS ANGELES - In the wake of the Vatican's latest attack on feminism, Metropolitan Community Churches responded with an affirmation of its historic commitment to feminism, and to the full equality of women and men in the Church and society.
"We are saddened that the Vatican leadership once again finds itself in opposition to those universal spiritual principles that value and celebrate the giftedness of women to the Church and to our world," said The Reverend Elder Troy D. Perry, Moderator of the 43,000 member Metropolitan Community Churches.
Over 50 percent of MCC clergy are women, a higher percentage than any other Christian denomination.
Perry continued, "It is worth noting that religious leaders who attack social and spiritual equality for women also use their religion to legitimize the denigration of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons."
‘I am different, so are all of us’
FOR the first time after his murder on August 14, Pushkin Chandra’s family spoke about their loss today. Gathered for a prayer meeting at Chinmaya Mission in Lodi Estate, Chandra’s father A K Chandra and brother Mohit Chandra spoke about Pushkin before friends and relatives who had assembled to share their grief.
It gave an insight into the mind of a man who has been the subject of much speculation in the past few days. Speaking after the prayer meet, Pushkin’s father A K Chandra said, ‘‘I preserved an email that Pushkin wrote to me in the early 1990s from the US. He wrote to me, ‘Dear Papa, I love you. I am different but so are all of us. But that does not mean that I don’t love you. Mom, Papa, I love you very much’.’’
Chandra added, ‘‘I had decided not to speak about him but this morning I felt that I owed it to him. Pushkin and I spent 38 fun-filled years together. We shared a good relationship and had a lot of fun.’’
Chandra added, ‘‘Pushkin had a great sense of humour. Even as a child when he was 10 years old, I remember I had taken him for admission to a private school in Delhi. The candidates had to write an essay on ‘What will you do if you become the Prime Minister of India?’ Pushkin as usual wrote ‘‘I don’t want to be Prime Minister because I am very lazy.’’ Chandra concluded, ‘‘the evening of my life has come, Pushkin is gone.’’