Saturday, July 18, 2009

Activism from 'Inside the Closet' Can Be Disastrous for Gay Movement

Activism from ‘Inside the Closet’ Can Be Disastrous for Gay Movement


Commentary by Nikolai Baev




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Russian gay activist Nikolai Baev reasons that ‘quiet lobbying’ often brings disasterous results.
photo courtesy Gay


MOSCOW, July 18, 2009  –  The bitter fruits of ‘quiet lobbying’ surfaced earlier this week in Lithuania and Ukraine.

In Vilnius, the Lithuanian Seimas passed a Bill banning any discussions on homosexuality in schools and making illegal any “gay propaganda” in the media.  Moreover, most of Lithuanian deputies on Tuesday annulled the presidential veto.

Also this week, the Ukrainian Culture Ministry banned the movie Bruno because of its “homosexual propaganda”.  Earlier, authorities of the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev had banned local gay festival while city authorities of Lviv had banned the presentation of a book on Ukrainian LGBT community during local book fair.

The so-called ‘arguments’ of homophobes are always same: one should ban “propaganda of sin, of immorality, of deviation” and everything that is linked by them to homosexuality.  One should do this especially for children who are always used as a living shield by all bustards in the world: from terrorists to homophobes.

What are the reactions of established and legally active gay organisations in Lithuania and Ukraine to such an unexampled attack on freedom of speech and expression for gay people?

Eighteen months ago, I spoke with leaders of Lithuanian Gay League during an international LGBT conference in Warsaw.  They commented very sceptically on Gay Pride Parades which, they said, were too “provocative”.

They thought, instead of gay parades, they should concentrate on the quiet and detailed work with gay community and authorities, persuading them to refute their homophobic points of view.

As result of such an approach, I suggest, Lithuania introduced homophobic censorship.

Leaders of Ukrainian Gay Forum – a legally constituted group and the most prominent gay association of Ukraine, has said that they consciously refused to hold any Gay Pride events.

According to them, they made a discrete agreement with authorities that they would reject the idea of Gay Pride Parades, and the government would give them an opportunity of “quiet lobbying” of their interests.

As result of such a “lobbying”, Ukrainian authorities keep banning and censoring homosexual expressions across the country.  Even an amendment to the Labour Code of Ukraine which would ban discrimination of gay people in the working place that has been lobbied for by Gay Forum ignominiously failed in the Ukrainian parliament.

Lithuanian and Ukrainian gay activists evidently chose the wrong strategy of the “quiet closet” where one can easily imitate gay activism and suffer all homophobic escapades of authorities without any murmur.

The effects of this strategy are present: more and more attacks on civil rights of sexual minorities in these countries.

Latvia and Poland are no less homophobic societies than Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia.  But already in early 2000s Latvian and Polish gay activists have chosen absolutely different strategy of LGBT visibility.

First in Poland, then in Latvia, Gay Pride Parades were organised – the strongest and the most efficient gay events, both in media and in politics.

Latvian and Polish activists had mounted a very hard legal and political battle against homophobic bans by local courts and authorities.  Now Gay Pride Parades are held in Riga, Warsaw and Krakow.  At the same time neither in Latvia nor in Poland have been passed such shameful laws introducing homophobic censorship like Lithuanian parliament did.

The Polish Campaign Against Homophobia association and, Latvia’s Mozaika which organises Gay Pride in Riga, execute the same strategy of gay visibility and of all civil rights for gay people that has been chosen by the organisers of Moscow and Slavic Gay Pride Parades in Russian and Belarus – and, in the interests of ‘disclosure’, I am one of them.

Levels of homophobia are approximately same in all Eastern-European countries which belonged to the former Soviet bloc.  Their political systems may differ from “soft authoritarianism” in Russia to democratic regimes in Poland and Baltic countries.

But everywhere, we face total homophobia among the political classes, the refusal of human rights activists to support gay rights, and homophobic prejudices in media and society.

The question is how most effectively to fight against homophobia and to change the situation?

Should we be invisible for society in order not to “provoke” homophobes, or we should politically and socially ‘come out’, achieving through courts and political and legal campaigns all civil rights for gay people?

The latest events in Lithuania and Ukraine proves, I suggest, that the second way is possible the most efficient.

Even in Russia, where we have been held already four Gay Pride events, of sorts, led to enormous media and political coverage.  And; last month, deputies of the State Duma rejected a bill which would criminalize “homosexual propaganda”.

Authorities can pay attention only to those who are ready to fight for their rights.  Only in this way can we expect some concessions from ‘their’ side.

Invisibility of gays and lesbians is exactly what homophobes need.  The only solution is break of homophobic blockade, censorship and discrimination.

Gay history doesn’t know any other way but ‘street protests’, with demands to respect our rights when authorities don’t want to make a compromise.  Just look back 40 years to Stonewall in America and, in Europe, to those early marches in London 30 years ago.

Activism from ‘inside the closet’ just plays into hands of homophobes and cannot stop discrimination.

■ Nikolai Baev is a gay rights activist in Russia and is one of the organisers of Moscow Gay Pride.  He lives in Moscow and is a contributor to the Website.




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Gay penguin couple split when the bi guy finds traditional mate

Gay penguin couple split when the bi guy finds traditional mate

July 17, 9:26 PM
Harry and Pepper in their happier days, before Linda came along.

Uh oh, the famous gay couple of penguins, Harry and Pepper, at the San Francisco Zoo (of all places), split up, when the bisexual guy, Harry, became infatuated with LInda and moved in next door.

You can't make this stuff up. It's a real-life "Peyton Place" (or "Desperate Housewives" for those of you who may find that reference a bit dated).

Harry and Pepper have been together six years—which is long in both gay years and penguin years. They were even becoming great role models for their alternative lifestyle among the 50 penguins congregated at the zoo, which has the most penguins in captivity in North America.

Harry and Pepper raised and nurtured an egg together. The child did well and lives among them now.

But, Harry became infatuated by a recent widower, Linda, who's partner, Fig, died. Harry dumped his longtime male partner and nested with Linda, and are now raising two children of their own.

This is not good for bisexuals. It buys into a lot of stereotypes, like the bi person will leave the same-sex relationship for a "safe" coupling eventually.What the news has not reported, is whether there was any peer pressure among the other 50 penguins.

There were reports that Pepper tried to visit Harry and Linda a few times, but Harry didn't go back to his flamboyant friend. There was no cheating on Linda.

My most emphatic note is that this is not always true. I've known plenty of bisexuals who have monogamous partners with same-sex or opposite sex people. Don't use Harry's unceremonious dumping of Pepper as an excuse to avoid dating a bisexual.

These poor penguins were under the spotlight for so long, the pressure of being the "perfect same-sex couple" in the animal kingdom must have been as tough as Rod & Bob or Melissa & Julie. Certainly, living in the same city as the man who promoted same-sex marriage in California didn't help.

Don't gauge all bisexual relationships with the triangle between Harry, Pepper and Linda!

Check out the video of Harry & Pepper's break-up below, and a slide show, too.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sex sells, sexuality doesn't.

Sex sells, sexuality doesn’t…


Sandhya Iyer

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 AT 6:07 PM

Tags: Bollywood, sex, cinema, homosexuality, influence, sexuality




Bollywood and alternative sexuality

Even as a heated debate rages on about legalising gay rights, most of the emphasis seems to hinge on its social acceptability. And in this respect, one expects popular art mediums — which have always been an index to social trends and attitudes — to play a definitive role in shaping the mindset about alternative sexuality.

In India, it is cinema — largely Bollywood — that has been culturally and socially one of the most potent and influential mediums. So while societal climate impacts the movies, films seem to impact it equally.

Which is why, it’s interesting to see where Indian cinema, particularly Bollywood, has gone so far in its portrayal of alternative sexuality and whether it can be expected to have a bearing on popular culture.

Bollywood’s baby steps

The subject of alternative sexuality has been such a closeted, taboo one in the country that it’s no surprise that cinema too has preferred to keep it on the sidelines. Or worse, use it merely as a comic relief, while perpetuating stereotypes. The West, on the other hand, where homosexuals fought a long battle for their rights, has been more open about, if not always advocative of, the issue. Hollywood offerings like Milk and Brokeback Mountain have indeed played a role in sensitising the audience.

Back home, we’ve just had a handful of films made on homosexuality over the years and only a few probably tried to engage with the subject meaningfully. Onir’s My Brother Nikhil and Amol Palekar’s Daayra and Thang (Quest) being among them.  

There was the much controversial Fire from Deepa Mehta about lesbianism, which created a furore when it released. The film proved to be a whistle-blower of sorts, but actually may have done some disservice to the cause, when you consider how it was largely viewed as ‘provocative’ — one that possibly confuses feminism and lesbianism and assigns it a distinct gender-politics. No filmmaker touched the subject with a barge pole for a long time after that.

It’s strange how the minute a new law is passed, all the social responsibility of propagating it is left at the doorstep of filmmakers. That is not fair - Sachin Kundalkar

Interestingly, lesbianism was portrayed as early as in the ’80s by Jabbar Patel in his much-acclaimed Umbartha. Here, two of the inmates of a reformatory womens’ cell operating under protagonist Smita Patil’s charge, are shown in the act of making love. “These women have no outlet and some of them may have a natural leaning towards lesbianism, so it was not something that couldn’t happen. People accepted it because it went with the flow. I never tried to be sympathetic. We showed reality as it existed,” Patel says.

Viewers who saw it then were probably shocked, but a certain middle-class self-consciousness may have prevented any further discussion on it. Also, in the film, Smita Patil defends the two inmates saying “It’s a mental illness….and they need to be understood.” The audience must have agreed, back then. “Yes, this was the ’80s, so that is what she says. Today, Smita — if she played that role — would have said something different,” Patel feels.

Talking of relatively recent gay portrayals, we’ve had Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula, Page 3, Honeymoon Travels Pvt ltd — all of which at least acknowledged alternative sexuality as a reality.

The Dostana debate

Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana may be nothing more than a frothy entertainer about two straight men pretending to be gay. But the fact that it was a full-on, successful mainstream film that got people talking (in whatever way) makes it vital to our discussion. There seem to be two radically opposing views on Dostana, though.

Marathi filmmaker Sachin Kundalkar sees Dostana as a fairly significant film. He says, “Alternative sexuality has never really been portrayed in mainstream cinema and certainly not where the whole story revolves around it. The kind of films that so-called sensible filmmakers make on alternative sexuality are seen by a niche audience and this is a segment that is already sensitive to gay rights and so on. Mainstream success is very important — to get more people talking about it. It doesn’t matter that it works more as a sugar-coated pill or makes light of the topic. At least it brings the topic to the fore. That is what we’ve all been fighting for — to get it out in the open,” he says.

Of course, not all agree. Documentary filmmaker Aarti Gupta doesn’t agree to the view that ‘something is better than nothing’. “But that ‘something’ is actually damaging. You have two men in Dostana pretending to be gay. But they are not gay. So what does that do anyway?” she says, adding, “I think a lot of these films have gay themes because the West does it and it’s suddenly considered cool. I don’t think there is any thought behind it.”
Sexuality and films

For a lot of people, the debate on homosexuality and cinema might seem a bit ludicrous when you consider that even female sexuality has not been portrayed in a progressive light in our films. Unlike in the ’50s and ’60s which saw strong women characters, the last couple of decades have seen a kind of objectification of women, where they are only seen from the prism of male gaze. And this is ironical because women have progressed greatly in the last decades and their new roles are still not well-represented in our films. “I think filmmakers can turn to homosexuals later, they should treat heterosexual couples properly first,” says Aarti.

Filmmaker Onir agrees that even though the court verdict of decriminalising homosexuality is a welcome step, it may not change much for Bollywood. “Look at the kind of films that are becoming hits. Kambakkht Ishq! It’s still all about demand and supply here, so you will have women treated like Barbie girls who encourage their heroes to tease them and think of it as a turn on,” he quips.

So unless our films evolve to depict our women as more than sex objects or in a progressive way, treating homosexuality with respect and maturity remains a far cry. 

The road ahead

Filmmaker Amol Palekar, who has made a trilogy on the subject of sexual identity (Daayra, Anahat and Quest), believes cinema must play its part responsibly. “I made these films because I’ve always been interested in bringing to the fore the voice of the marginalised section. As long as filmmakers are comfortable with the status quo, we will never see a change. I don’t blame the audience too much, because it’s a fallacy that they do not accept certain subjects. If you make these films well, they will. We need more directors with vision and commitment. We’d never have a Kagaz Ke Phool — a film so ahead of its times — if Guru Dutt hadn’t shown the courage to make it. So I’m all for tolerant and progressive cinema,” he says.

Sachin Kundalkar, on the other hand, believes art must not be pressurised to be socially commited. “Let people make what they want. It’s strange how the minute a new law is passed, all the social responsibility of propagating it is left at the doorstep of filmmakers. That is not fair. Only people who feel for the cause of homosexuality should make it. Directors are creative people and not on some pay roll of a social organisation. I say, let people present the picture they want in their films. I see everything contributing in the larger scheme of things. At least people will be able to see homosexuality for what it is.”

Kundalkar is also positive that the new-age directors will ensure that sexuality in films is portrayed more sensitively in the time to come. “I look up to filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and Nishikant Kamat and I’m sure we will see a change for the better through their films,” he ends optimistically.

Even though Bollywood will have a definite role to play in the shaping of perceptions, the fact remains that it will do so staying within its framework. Says filmmaker Abhishek Bandekar, “Bollywood is an industry that never has and never will tackle any issue seriously. It never can afford to actually, given its audience base and what it represents. If the rest of the world makes cinema for the mind, Bollywood aims for the heart. But what may seem as its handicap, is its unique strength also. Due to its premium on entertainment, light-hearted at that, Bollywood shapes minds and influences opinions in a subliminal way, without really shoving pedantic arguments down your throat. And that is why Bollywood treads its steps very carefully. It can ill afford to take big decisive steps. Bollywood functions like the man on the moon — one small step for the industry is a big one for the nation.”

I’ve always been interested in bringing to the fore the voice of the marginalised section. As long as filmmakers are comfortable with the status quo, we will never see a change - Amol Palekar




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'Dignity restored'

Volume 26 - Issue 15 :: Jul. 18-31, 2009

‘Dignity restored’
Interview with Arvind Narrain, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore.

For the first time, LGBT persons have been rendered full citizens,
says Arvind Narrain.

ARVIND NARRAIN is a lawyer working with the Alternative Law Forum in
Bangalore and has been associated with the LGBT (lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender) movement for several years. He was part of a
group that organised the first seminar on gay rights in an academic
institution – the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) – in
1997. He is also associated with Voices Against 377, a consortium of
non-governmental organisations (NGO) that has been working for the
repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Q: What are the social implications of the Delhi High Court judgment
striking down part of Section 377?

A: It is a historic judgment as right from 1860 through 50 years of
the Indian Constitution the judiciary continued to follow the colonial
justice of an earlier era and characterised homosexuals as “despicable
specimens of humanity”. The right to equality, the right to dignity or
the right to expression has never been seen fit to apply to lesbians,
gays, bisexuals, hijras or others whose sexuality does not conform to
the heterosexual mainstream. The judgment, for the first time,
restored dignity and “full moral citizenship” to lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender [LGBT] persons by ruling that Section 377 was
inoperable against consenting sexual acts of same sex couples in
private. For the first time, across the length and breadth of the
country, LGBT persons have been rendered full citizens.

Q: In the debate on the judgment on web portals, newspapers and other
media, there is vast opposition to the decision, particularly on
religious grounds. What do you say about this?

A: The response is quite simple. We all have different opinions about
the kind of food we choose to eat, clothes we wear, etc. At no point
in time does a religious stricture or injunction about these matters
become the law of the land. Similarly, while we respect the right of
religious leaders to hold other opinions on homosexuality, all we are
saying is that religious opinion cannot become the criminal law of the
land. That would be quite antithetical to secularism and really amount
to imposing the views of one religion on the entire nation.

Having said that, it is important that we debate the impact of
religious views or prejudices founded in religion on young people who
find themselves deeply conflicted about their identity as being both
gay and Christian or gay and Muslim. The debate on religion and
sexuality must continue, and we are only glad that post this judgment
we can engage in this debate with our hands untied.

Q: Can you mention some major legal markers in the LGBT’s struggle
until the July 2 decision?

A: Possibly the first legal marker one can identify was the first
protest against police harassment of gay people in 1993 in Delhi.
Since that initial moment of coming out, there have been a series of
public protests against arrests under Section 377, police harassment
and torture carried out in all the major cities of India. Building on,
and taking forward this more public profile of the community, Naz
Foundation filed a petition to challenge Section 377. Voices Against
Section 377 [a coalition of child rights, women’s rights and LGBT
groups] filed an intervention in the Naz petition, focussing on how
LGBT rights were violated by the law.

There were also interventions filed by JACK [an AIDS denial group] and
B.P. Singhal, arguing that the law should be retained. Since the
history is so short, this would really be the most important landmark

Q: There is a perception that consensual sex among members of the same
sex is a Western and elite concept. Can you comment on some of the
cultural and class issues involved in the discussions surrounding the
legitimising of consensual sex among adults?

A: This perception is not true at all. Homosexuality exists in all
classes. The most visible part of the LGBT community is the hijra and
kothi community, which is really at the intersections of the
oppressions of caste, class, gender and sexuality. The visible imagery
of the “pride parades” will testify to the sheer diversity of the LGBT
community and how LGBT existence cuts across class.

Q: The Union government looks like it is dithering on the issue after
opposition from religious groups. In a democracy like India where
religious groups are always perceived to be influential electorally,
are you optimistic that the government will endorse the court

A: We hope the Union government will pay heed to the judgment and take
note of the fact that it invokes the founding fathers of the Indian
nation, Jawaharlal Nehru and B.R. Ambedkar. If the Union of India is
to be true to its history as the inheritor of the Independence
struggle and craft out a meaning for independence suited to this age,
then it cannot but endorse the decision. The logic of the High Court
is impeccable; the case against Section 377 has been proved through
close and cogent argumentation. If the Union of India is to be true
both to its own history, sensitive to logic and solicitous of rights,
it will not go against the decision. One hopes that wise counsel does
indeed prevail.



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FW: Tour de France: I need your help!


Forward to a Friend | Donate | LIVESTRONG.ORG


Tour de France: I need your help!

Dear Ketan,

Without your commitment to fight cancer, our leaders won't pay attention.
Lance talks about why he's riding in the Tour de France and why he needs your help right now.

I returned to cycling this year for one reason: to fight for the 28 million people affected by cancer worldwide.

We are making tremendous progress in this fight, but there's still so much to be done. By next year cancer will be the #1 killer in the world and yet most of the world's leaders lack any real plan to fight back.

During my 20-day ride in the Tour I'm calling on leaders around the world to make major commitments to fight cancer worldwide – but I can't do it alone.

As a first step, will you join me and sign the World Cancer Declaration – a major global push to pressure the world's leaders to act now on cancer?

As an added incentive, a donor has pledged to give $30,000 if we can collect 30,000 signatures before the end of the Tour.

I'll send these signatures to world leaders after the Tour de France and pressure them to make cancer a priority in their own countries. It's our best chance to push for better treatment, more funding for cancer research and access to care for everyone around the world.

Without your commitment, these leaders won't pay attention. Will you sign the declaration then ask your friends and family to do the same?

When you sign the declaration, you'll be able to dedicate that action to a cancer survivor or caregiver who has inspired you. I dedicated my signature to my mom, who stuck by me – and fought alongside me – throughout my cancer fight. Who will you dedicate yours to?

We'll be keeping you updated on our progress over the coming weeks – meanwhile, join me at LIVESTRONG Action and make your commitment now:


Lance and the LIVESTRONG Action team





Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gay rights is ok, but what about health risks?

Gay rights is ok, but what about health risks?

Dr Rajan B Bhonsle

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 1:52 IST




Text sizeText


All human beings have equal worth and therefore straight or gay, everyone has the right to live with dignity. I am all for "equal human rights" for gays and to not treat them like some inferior species or second-class citizens. They are as much human as anyone and thus deserve to be treated humanely.

Being a medical practitioner in the field of sexual medicine for over two decades, I have seen severe medical complications arising out of "consensual sodomy" or "anal sex", whether between two homosexuals, or even when it has been compelled on a woman by a man.

The physical and emotional trauma of these victims stirs my heart and cannot go unmentioned in the midst of all this debate of "de-criminalising consensual sexual behavior in privacy between two same-sex individuals". I fully agree with every scripture that separates the person from the action. Therefore, I reiterate that while all human beings should be viewed and treated "equally" with the same human dignity by law and society, all sexual acts done by anyone gay or straight, if causing physical or emotional trauma to another, (whether minor or major), should also be punishable.

Kiran was a 20-year-old frail boy from a poor family. His father was dead and his mother was old and ill with two younger sisters at home to support. He got a job of a peon in a private office after a lot of struggle. His boss, a 46-year-old rich married man, fancied anal sex. He pressurised Kiran to have anal sex with him after office hours in his cabin. Kiran felt helpless as this job was vital for him. He consented to the demands of his boss.

A few months later, when he approached a doctor, he had developed infected painful fissures at his anus and had partially lost control on the mechanism of the anal opening which was not functioning due to the injuries during anal sex. He had lost his job and had no courage to approach the police as he felt he had neither the moral right nor the legal standing as he was major and had "consented" to this act.

Deepak, a 32-year-old married government employee was a bisexual. He would indulge in anal sex with some of his male office colleagues 'consensually' for mutual pleasure. His wife was completely oblivious to this side of her husband. Deepak also never felt that his secret parallel life would ever affect his marriage.

During the second pregnancy of his wife, the obstetrician detected that she was not only HIV positive, but her tests for Syphilis, Hepatitis-B and Genital Herpes were also found positive. Deepak too was tested positive for these four STDs. It was obvious that Deepak had contracted all these STDs from his multiple homosexual contacts and now his wife and unborn child were also victims of these life threatening infections.

In all the cases, the involved individuals were 'adults' and were engaging into anal sex with 'mutual consent' in 'privacy'. Doctors get to see several such cases. I wish all those who are critical of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (1860) need to give serious consideration to their demands. The legal experts, social activists, gay organisations and the media cannot afford to be ignorant about possibilities such as these.

It also needs to be noted that as per Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 'anal sex' is a punishable offence, even when it is happening between husband and wife with mutual consent. Any sexual activity is a matter of personal choice, but should be with genuine mutual consent. As a medical expert, I would like to talk about some medical facts related to anal sex. Medical science regards anal sex as "high-risk behavior".

Physiologically, the anus is not designed for penetration by any hard object. The anal sphincter tightens ordinarily if stimulated, as a protective reflex action, and any attempt at penile insertion may be distressing even if done slowly and gradually. If the penis is forced into the anus, injury is possible. The lining (mucus membrane) of the rectum is very thin, tears easily, does not heal fast and therefore is vulnerable to infections.

Also, the tears can enlarge to a fissure or a crack leading to the outside of your body. There is also a possibility that a fistula could open up, allowing faeces to re-route into the abdominal cavity or into the vagina. This can cause serious surgical complications. One may lose control over the anal sphincter causing continuous involuntary leakage of faecal matter.

Some of the micro-organisms that are normally present in the anus of even a healthy individual are known for causing severe urinary infection if they enter the urethra and urinary tract. During anal sex the urethra actually enters the rectum, inviting infective bacteria into the urethra and thus the urinary tract. Repeated urinary infection can cause serious problems such as renal damage and even kidney failure.

Masters & Johnson in their book on 'Sex and Human Loving' warn, that because bacteria are naturally present in the anus, anything that has been inserted into the anus if subsequently put into the vagina, can cause severe vaginal infections. Therefore moving from anal intercourse to vaginal intercourse is extremely hazardous.

The rate of transmission of HIV (and other STDs) through anal sex is much higher compared to other penetrative sexual acts. It will be enlightening to know that the condom, which is thought to be a means of "so-called safe sex", is not designed for anal sex by the manufacturers. Anal sex involves a totally different kind of pressure dynamics, and the latex or polyurethane condoms are not manufactured keeping these pressure dynamics in mind. The condom is far more likely to get torn during anal sex (thus paving the way for the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STDs). Therefore I reiterate that anal sex even with the use of a condom is definitely a "high risk behavior".

Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that as a society, we need to learn to accept all "persons" with equal human rights irrespective of their choices, but we do reserve the right to reject certain "behaviors" that are injurious to the health of those persons or others connected to them. Those choosing to be in loving same-sex relationships are no less human and do not deserve any less respect than anyone else. Therefore, an equal human approach must be adopted by the moral keepers of our society and by the law of our land in this regard.

(Dr. Rajan Bhonsle, MD is a senior sex therapist in Mumbai. He is an Hon. professor and head of the department of sexual medicine at Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai)




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FW: accept homosexuality as it is


From: W One []
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 5:37 PM
Subject: accept homosexuality as it is


Separating homosexuality from society and defining gays as a community as if it is on some other planet is just a nonsense! Gays are in all type of people, whether they are rich, poor or middle class, whether musicians, doctors, politicians and or religious people (leaders too!). Simply because it is a natural phenomenon.


If some politicians or religious leaders are opposing to remove homosexuality from IPC, they would need to be explained that there are people from their party who are gays or keep homosexual relations. So they want such people to be exposed? will they disqualify them from their party? Will religious houses take action against such leaders who are gay! May those political parties remove such persons from their party one religious institutions and see what happens! I am sure political parities and religious houses will soon realize how good and important people they are.


So, without wasting any time and debating or bringing the issue to Supreme Court, verdict of Delhi High be accepted immediately. Enough discussions have taken place while hearing the case in High Court. In fact, Government and or SC should ask other High Courts of all the States to implement the High Court verdict. 





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Re: g_b Govt unlikely to challenge gay law verdict

Well let us see what innovative jugglery they come up with to satisfy the"middle of the road". The religious boors are not going to settle for any thing less than the confirmed knowledge that we will be sent back to jail the moment we say let us see what innovation the government can cook up..

2009/7/14 <>

Govt unlikely to challenge gay law verdict

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

July 14, 2009
The Union government is unlikely to appeal the Delhi [Images] high court's landmark judgment on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, Home Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai told in an exclusive conversation. "I don't think the government is likely to go in for an appeal," Pillai said.

Section 377 criminally penalises so-called 'unnatural offences', even if the offence is a consensual sexual relationship. The Delhi high court declared that Section 377 of the IPC 'criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private' and it is 'violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution.'

However, the court added that Section 377 will 'continue to govern non-consensual' sex between homosexuals involving minors.

The issue of 'legitimatising homosexuality' has created a bitter national debate. Since most religious leaders have opposed the judgment, political leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
[Images], have been cautious in their reactions on the issue.

While returning from the G-20 summit in Italy
[Images], when the prime minister was asked what his views on the high court ruling was, he merely responded, "I haven't discussed this matter with my Cabinet colleagues. When I go back, I will seek their views if anything further needs to be done or said in this regard."

Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] also evaded the question, saying his personal opinion does not matter on this issue.

The Congress party would like the archaic law to be changed through due legal process. The Congress and United Progressive Alliance [Images] government would also prefer the media to treat the 'issue of decriminalising of homosexuality' as a Constitutional subject, rather than a cultural or religious issue.

Home Secretary Pillai, who believes in taking a middle-of-the road-solutions to problems, explained his views on the controversy regarding Section 377 and the judgment.

"There are some people who believe homosexuality is bad," he said. "It's their strong conviction. There are others who are equally strong in their conviction that it is their private affair and their reality. There are other shades of opinion on it. There are some who say that they don't mind homosexuality, but why should they call it a marriage? In their opinion, a marriage can only be between a man and a woman. It can't be between two men."

"So each person has his own view and when you look at it, you try to balance. I think the high court's judgment was a very balanced judgment. It brought out different issues and said here is the section that is violative of the Constitution and they said that you can't have such kind of relations between a minor and a major. That is still illegal. Now, as per the directions of the high court, we have to amend Section 377."

Pillai argued that the issue is sensitive, therefore the government will take a decision after taking into account the sensitivities of various sections of the national community. "If you are going to amend Section 377," the home secretary said, "you have to take different nuances into account and sensitivities of every different viewpoint."




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