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Reviving Dharma- Part 4- Homosexual & Marriage

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In a big blow to gay rights in India, the Supreme Court upheld a law criminalizing homosexual sex on Wednesday, setting aside a landmark Delhi high court decision in 2009 which had overturned the colonial-era ban.

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My Comments:

The issue whether gays are born as gay or later in life circumstances turn them into gay is to be left to science. In either case, what two sane adults do in their bedroom, is none of the concern of Government or Law. Hence, the very act of criminalizing of supposed ‘unnatural sex between two consenting adults’ is wrong as long as it does not lead to some violence. There is nothing criminal about what goes between consenting adults.

Now, sex and marriage can be treated as separate issue or also as connected issue. The Section 377 is concerned only with sexual aspect and not the aspect of marriage. Marriage is not just about Sex though Sex/physical intimacy is one of the most important tenets of marriage. As far as the matter of sex alone is concerned, I believe it should be left to individuals and state has no moral rights to interfere in it.

Now, coming to issue of marriage of a gay couple. It is to be first understood that there is not much difference between a gay live in together couple and a gay married couple, except the latter involves more personal commitment along with legal security and social acceptance. Coming to the issue Hindu conception of Marriage, it is understood as a “Dharmic Bond” in which two are brought together for the purpose of practicing Dharmic duties together. Giving birth to children and continuing the family is one of the important duties of a married couple.So, also a series of Dharmic rituals and actions like Samskaras, Yajnas etc that has to be performed by Husband and wife. The present condition of society is such that, even Heterosexual couple practice only few religious duties. In case of a Gay couple, they cannot conceive children nor are they eligible for religious duties that has to be performed by husband and wife. Nevertheless, we can see that marriage is also based on concept of commitment, love, support and a desire to be with each other till the end. And these attitudes are present in a relationship between two men or two women even when they have not legally married. So, I feel even within Hinduism, Homosexual marriages can be allowed to happen, or at least be given a semi-marital status, where-in though they cannot conceive children or cannot perform certain rites like yajnas etc, they can at least practice Dharma like Truth, commitment, love etc. And if not Yajna, they can at least practice Japa, Puja etc. Further, some of the Dharmic tenets that are applicable to Heterosexual Married couple which cannot conceive nor adopts can also be applied to Homosexual marriages who do not go for adoption. Even if a homosexual couple adopts children, they can be treated the way heterosexual couples who adopted are treated.

Further, as far as the issue of Legal marriage is concerned, Homosexuals can be easily be allowed to get married under special marriages act by making provision for gay/lesbian marriages. Irrespective of the fact that whether such marriages are acceptable or not acceptable to some people, whether or not such a marriage will be recognized by religious heads or by religious tenets there should be no bar on considering, homosexual marriages as legal marriages.

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I am a civil engineer working with Essar Projects India Ltd and have a passion for writing articles on Politics, History, Religion and Philosophy.

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