Homosexuality In India
Homosexuality is generally considered a taboo subject by both Indian civil society and the government. Homophobia is prevalent in India. Public discussion of homosexuality in India has been inhibited by the fact that sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly. In recent years, however, attitudes towards homosexuality have shifted slightly. In particular, there have been more depictions and discussions of homosexuality in the Indian news media and by Bollywood. On 2 July 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalised homosexual intercourse between consenting adults, throughout India, where Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was adjudged to violate the fundamental right to life and liberty and the right to equality as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
Several organisations like the Naz Foundation (India) Trust, the National AIDS Control Organisation, Law Commission of India, Union Health Ministry, National Human Rights Commission and The Planning Commission of India have either implicitly, or expressly come out in support of decriminalising homosexuality in India, and pushed for tolerance and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. India is among countries with a social element of a third gender.
Religion has played a role in shaping Indian customs and traditions. While homosexuality has not been explicitly mentioned in the religious texts central to Hinduism, the largest religion in India, Hinduism has taken various positions, ranging from positive to neutral or antagonistic. Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says Vikriti Evam Prakriti (Sanskrit: विकृतिः एवम् प्रकृतिः ।) (what seems un-natural is also natural), which some scholars believe recognises the cyclical constancy of homosexual/transsexual dimensions of human life, like all forms of universal diversities. Historical literary evidence indicates that homosexuality has been prevalent across the Indian subcontinent throughout history, and that homosexuals were not necessarily considered inferior in any way.
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