To Be Free To Love At Last- World News

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To Be Free To Love At Last- World News

Anaché Varteressian, Section Editor, Writer

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On August 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India unanimously voted to decriminalize homosexuality. A bench of five judges ruled Section 377 as “arbitrary”. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is from 1861 during the colonial English rule that criminalized sexual acts that are “against the order of nature”. Many see this victory as the nation of  India finally accepting Western culture; most countries in Europe have already legalized gay marriage and people say that this is a step in the Western direction. When in fact, there are many cases of fluid genders and sexualities present in Hinduism long before the English deemed these concepts as dirty and barbaric. For example, the god of Shaivism, Shiva is often seen as the ultimate form of masculinity but as far back as the Kushan era, Shiva has taken an androgynous form, the Ardhanarishvara form. Shiva can also be depicted as his wife Parvati.

Another example is the god of fire, creativity, and wealth, Agni, who is depicted in Hinduism as married to the goddess Svaha as well as the moon god Soma. It is evident that LGBTQ+ people have been present in India, but it is the English influence that forced India to be so closed minded for 157 years.

 

 

 

 

Resources

“Five Divine Acts of Shiva.” CreationCenter.org, 24 Aug. 2017, creationcenter.org/five-divine-acts-shiva/.

“Religions – Hinduism: Shiva.” BBC, 24 Aug. 2009, www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/deities/shiva.shtml.

Ogles, Jacob. “19 LGBT Hindu Gods.” ADVOCATE, Advocate.com, 6 Sept. 2016, www.advocate.com/religion/2016/9/06/19-lgbt-hindu-gods?pg=7#article-content.

Jha, Nishita. “India Just Decriminalized Gay Sex.” BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed, 6 Sept. 2018, www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nishitajha/india-section-377-gay-sex.

“Amazing Hindu God Agni Wallpapers.” Hindu Devotional Blog, www.hindudevotionalblog.com/2017/07/amazing-hindu-god-agni-wallpapers.html.

Desk, Express Web. “What Is Section 377 of the IPC?” The Indian Express, Thursday, May 03, 2018, 10 Sept. 2018,

https://indianexpress.com/article/what-is/what-is-section-377-homosexuality-lgbtq-supreme-court-india-5253460/