Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gay Mullahs We Need YOU

Can a gay MULLAH please step forward? We all know you exist. But instead of burying your head in the sand or hiding in the closet We need you to speak out against Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a law that dates back to 1860, during the British Colonial oppression of India.

Today, because India is a secular democracy all individuals and groups have a right to express a personal opinion. However, my personal opinion or anyone else's cannot have the status and authority of LAW.
The law stands above personal opinion. The law of the land has the solemn obligation to protect and preserve the rights of ALL individuals. The diverse LGBT constituency has long been denied equal civil rights in marriage and divorce under Indian Law. Their private sexual lives have long been criminalized under Sec 377 of the IPC. This is inhumane, uncivilized,unethical, unconstitutional and wrong. The Indian state has committed a CRIME against homosexuals by denying them their civil rights.

The Indian state or any secular democratic state IS NOT A PARTNER NOR CAN IT ADJUDICATE PRIVATE ACTIVITIES OF CONSENTING ADULTS, whether heterosexual, homosexual, transgender or any other sexual orientation.

Repeal 377. It's got to go.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
Times of India copyright
After Deoband, other Muslim leaders condemn homosexuality
1 Jul 2009, 1238 hrs IST, PTI
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NEW DELHI: Amid government moves for a re-look at criminalising homosexuality, several Muslim leaders have said any attempt to legally permit
unnatural sex is an attack on religious and moral values.

"Legalisation of homosexuality is an attack on Indian religious and moral values," over a dozen prominent Muslim religious leaders said in a statement.

The statement has been endorsed by Maulana Jalaluddin Omari, President of the Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasimi, Rector of Darul Uloom Waqf, Deoband, Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Fatehpuri, among others.

"We are shocked to see reports in the media that the Union government is considering the repeal of Section 377 of the IPC, which means making homosexuality legal," the statement said on Tuesday.

It said that homosexuality is a sin and a social evil which will only lead to societal disintegration and break-up of the family.

Appealing to the government not to be influenced by the "decadent trends of the Western culture" and not to give in to the demands of a minuscule minority, the statement said the government should not test the patience of the silent vast majority of the country which abhors such behaviour.

A prominent body of Muslim community Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind had earlier hit out at the government's proposed move, saying the repeal of the section would create "sexual anarchy" in the society.

"The section should stay as its repealing would result in sexual anarchy in the society. Those opposing the section are influenced by Western culture. Those who argue for independence do not realise that independence should have its limits," Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind spokesperson Abdul Hameed Noamani said.

Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband had earlier also opposed the Centre's move to repeal a controversial section, saying unnatural sex is against the tenets of Islam.

"Homosexuality is offence under Shariat Law and haram (prohibited) in Islam," Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband Maulana Abdul Khalik Madrasi has said.

The reaction came after reports that Centre was likely to convene a meeting soon to evolve a consensus on repealing a controversial section of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality.
Today is judgment day for gays
2 Jul 2009, 0730 hrs IST, Smriti Singh, TNN
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NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court is due to deliver on Thursday its much-awaited verdict on a petition seeking decriminalization of

Seven months after concluding the hearings on the petition filed by Naz Foundation, a bench consisting of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar will announce whether section 377 IPC could be “read down” to decriminalize private consensual sex between adults of the same sex.

As an NGO working among AIDS/HIV-affected people, all that the petitioner sought was a reading down of the wide-ranging provision, which imposes life sentence on those found to have “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. Much as the provision sounds archaic, there is little likelihood of it being repealed as the relief sought by the petitioner, by its own admission, has been framed “to ensure the continuance of applicability of section 377 to cases involving children or cases involving non-consensual sex.”

Thus, if the high court saves the provision by reading it down, section 377 will continue to be in the statute book to deal with paedophilia and non-consensual sex between members of the same sex. This is a likely scenario going by the observations made by judges during the hearings last year and the contradictions that remained unresolved in the government’s stand.

While the home ministry wanted the petition to be dismissed, the health ministry supported its contention that section 377 criminalized homosexuality per se, it was obstructing the AIDS/HIV prevention efforts among high-risk groups. Whatever the outcome, this is the second time the Delhi high court will be pronouncing on Naz Foundation’s petition against section 377. In 2004, it dismissed the petition at the preliminary stage stating that “an academic challenge to the constitutionality of a legislative provision could not be entertained.” It further said that when no personal injury was caused to the petitioner by this provision, the petition could not be examined.

The foundation then approached the Supreme Court, which disapproved the manner in which the high court had disposed of the matter. SC observed that when there was a debate on this issue the world over, “where is the question of the petition being academic? We are not able to accept the approach of the high court that it is an academic exercise and there is no personal injury.” Accordingly, in 2006, SC directed HC to reconsider the matter in detail. The judgment is coming close on the heels of statements from ministers on the possibility of a legislative intervention because of growing demands from the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT). If the judgment serves the purpose of decriminalizing homosexuality, the government will be spared the burden of amending a provision laden with religious and cultural sensitivities.

Interestingly, in the new team of law officers appointed by the government, at least two of them — attorney general Goolam Vahanvati and additional solicitor general Indira Jaising —- have publicly supported the demand for decriminalizing homosexuality.

wikipedia copyright
Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code a piece of legislation in India introduced during British rule of India used to criminalise homosexual activity.It is also commonly referred to as the ‘Anti-sodomy Law’. The Section 377 was drafted in 1860 by Lord Macaulay as a part of the colonial project of regulating and controlling the British- and Indian-origin subjects, which reads:

* Unnatural offenses: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
* Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense described in this section[1].

The ambit of Section 377, which was devised to criminalize and prevent homosexual associations - sodomy in particular, extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion. Thus even consensual heterosexual acts - but coitus - such as fellatio and fingering may be declared a punishable offense under this law.

The Indian Penal Code was later reproduced in most other British colonies – and to date many of these laws are still in places as far apart as Singapore and Sri Lanka.

In 2006 it came under criticism from 100 Indian literary figures,[2] most prominently Vikram Seth. The movement to repeal Section 377 has been led by the Naz Foundation India Trust, an activist group. It is currently under a constitutional challenge at the Delhi High Court.

It must however be noted that convictions under this law are extremely rare, and in the last twenty years there have been no convictions for homosexual relations in India.