In India, transgender people are entitled to human rights, but people who engage in consensual homosexual relations can be arrested. In fact, homosexuality is a taboo subject in society. For a country that risked death to gain their freedom, going to jail for your sexual orientation does not seem right.
Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code states that “whoever has carnal intercourse […] shall be punishable.” Punishing someone for whom they’re attracted to is, again, not alright. It turns out that Section 377 was created by the British during their colonial rule. After they gave up India as a colony, many remnants were left, from Indians talking in English to Section 377.
India was freed in 1947 and since then, people living there have forgotten about their own heritage, like language, to teach their children English. However, its not their fault for doing that. English is a class in India; only people who belong to the middle and upper class know English fluently.
Besides English, Section 377 is still in place and is still used to criminalize others. Bollywood (the Hindi version of Hollywood) is the first big industry to offer an open-minded perspective; they have started to implement gay characters and Karan Johar is the first openly gay director. However, even he stated that “If I need to spell it out [his sexuality], I won’t, only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this.” Johar went on, “The reason I don’t say it out aloud is simply that I don’t want to be dealing with the FIRs. I’m very sorry. I have a job, I have a commitment to my company, to my people who work for me. I’m not going to sit in the courts because of ridiculous, completely bigoted individuals who have no education, no intelligence.”
“I won’t [officially come out] only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this.” —Karan Johar
On Dec. 14, 2008, the United Nations released a statement that affirmed a simple human rights statement: equality and rights for everyone “regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Sexual orientation is whom you’re attracted to and gender identity is what/which gender(s) you identify with. In 2017, India rejected a resolution from the U.N. to take away its death penalty for being in a same-sex relationship.
There are many openly gay members of the LBGTQ+ community in India, but there are many more in hiding merely because of the fear of going to prison or being fined. Because of this, I created a petition to have the United Nations repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code because the legislation goes against a human right, and the UN can force India to make it null and void. Please support and help overturn this inhumane section.