Ground reality must keep up with courts

Updated: Sep 09, 2019, 08:09 IST | A correspondent

It is important to focus on what happened after homosexual sex was decriminalised by the Supreme Court of India. It is time to let attitudes catch up with legal change

Ground reality must keep up with courts
This picture has been used for representational purposes only

There were celebrations through the weekend for the queer community. Gay people in India marked the first year anniversary of the reading down of Section 377 of the IPC with parties and thought provoking plays. There were columns written about what the reading down of a colonial era law that criminalised consensual sex between same sex adults meant then and the way ahead.

It is important to focus on what happened after homosexual sex was decriminalised by the Supreme Court of India. It is time to let attitudes catch up with legal change.

The queer collective while celebrating their freedom is still shackled by ground reality which still remains difficult to change. Even now there are many legal battles to be fought, and hopefully won for full equality. Gay marriage rights seem a chimera but that does not mean equal rights activists can't fight for it.

For those who follow court matters, it is the change in society's mind-set that matters most. More public spaces opening up for queer events, not just because of the spending power of the community but genuine belief in spaces for all. A decrease in bullying at school, college or the workplace.

A family that is not embarrassed or scared of introducing a gay son or daughter to other relatives. Who does not shy away because they love you but cannot accept you that way because they are simply too afraid of what society would say. Corporate houses that spout diversity and inclusivity because it is fashionable to do so, but do not stand up for the employee when he is ridiculed because of his sexuality.

All battles are not fought in courtrooms. They are fought inside homes, on roads and inside institutions. Gay people need to celebrate victories here, just like they did one year ago, as the rainbow flag fluttered over the SC with pride and no prejudice.

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