Perspectives on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage in India

Before I began my research, I had the mistaken assumption (aren’t so many assumptions mistaken?) that homosexuality was not taboo in India. Perhaps I thought this because I have one Indian friend, a writer, who had a history of bisexuality and who wrote about gay couples. Or maybe I thought this because of the history of erotic literature that comes out of India; for example, the Kama Sutra. I suspect that I assumed that the culture who produced the Kama Sutra, who depicts gods and goddesses as male and female simultaneously (Shiva, for example, with the Shivalinga), that this culture would naturally have a more open view of homosexuality.  Boy, was I wrong.

From my initial research on the Internet – in articles from Wikipedia, The Times of India, as well from sites like Naz, an Non-Governmental Organization that advocates for sexual health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention – it seems like gay marriage is not going to be legalized in India any time soon. In fact, homosexuality, up to 2009, was considered a criminal offense under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, punishable with imprisonment for life. On July 2, 2009, it was de-criminalized; however, attitudes of the general population towards homosexuals are still extremely conflicted.

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