Tag Archives: brain fart

India’s Supreme Court has a homophobic brain fade…

It looks like people in positions of power in the Indian judiciary are not particularly exempt from indulging in confused thinking to any degree. Just two years ago, the Delhi High court decided to decriminalise homosexuality in what was a very progressive and welcome move, ruling its criminalisation on the basis of a law from the 1860s unconstitutional on grounds of being discriminatory.

Today, India’s Supreme Court decided to overturn that decision and recriminalise homosexuality in the country, upholding it to be constitutional and saying that Parliament would have to amend the law if they had to get rid of it, which the government is not saying it will do with elections coming up next year and voting along religious lines being an important part of the equation; what is beyond my comprehension though is how they could have possibly found it constitutional given this fundamental right in the Indian constitution; that every citizen shall have

  1. Right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.”

In what parallel universe would the assertion that you can only have consensual sexual relationships with a woman only if you are a man and consensual sexual relationships with a man only if you are a woman not be discriminatory on the basis of sex?

To quote their judgement as reported in [1]

“It is relevant to mention here that Section 377 IPC does not criminalize a particular people or identity or orientation. It merely identifies certain acts, which if committed, would constitute an offence. Such prohibition regulates sexual conduct regardless of gender identity and orientation,” Justices Singhvi (sic) said. “

Yeah, how about we take it a bit further and say “This law does not criminalise a particular group, tribe or gender, it only criminalises their act of breathing!”; reductio ad absurdum it may be but it highlights the vapidity of the whole rotten affair. What particular acts are they talking about, anyway?

Anal sex? Are they going to check if straight couples too aren’t doing it? Fingering, fellatio, tribadism?  I despair at the lack of logic involved here, it is also quite trivial to imagine any number of acts that are integral to the well being and equality of various people and groups of people – one can’t then ban that act and then say it isn’t discriminatory because it is that act which is banned; what matters is that it can have disproportionate impact on a subsection of the population and it can become discriminatory towards them as a direct consequence… 

More nonsense from them.

“”While reading down Section 377, the division bench of the HC overlooked that a miniscule fraction of the country’s population constitute lesbians, gays, bisexuals or trans-genders and in the last more than 150 years less that 200 persons have been prosecuted for committing offence under Section 377 IPC and this cannot be made a sound basis for declaring the section ultra vires (violative of) the provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution,” the apex court said. ”

So unconstitutional laws are constitutional when the people they affect [1] comprise a small minority of the population and [2] it doesn’t get used to persecute them  very frequently, which is completely against the fact that fundamental rights apply to every citizen; not just those belonging to groups that are of more than a miniscule size or are persecuted at more than some arbitrarily determined frequency.Seriously?

The people who’ve welcomed its recriminalisation have mostly done so on the basis of religious beliefs and an appeal to tradition; I wonder if they will also welcome a return to widow-burning and child marriage in the name of the latter – it comes across to me as an unabashed display of egregious stupidity and contemptuous inhumanity, as does the ridiculous yet alarming bilge on display in the comments section in the article I quoted excerpts of the judgement from.

As the holder of an Indian passport I hate being associated with regressive fuckwits, and the guardian of India’s constitution has shown itself capable of mental gymnastics that would make an invertebrate proud. For shame…

[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-makes-homosexuality-a-crime-again/articleshow/27230690.cms

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25329065

PS- This article on the Daily Beast rips the judgement apart better than I could and highlights more flaws and fallacies. Go read it. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/12/carnal-injustice-india-s-outrageous-court-ruling-against-gays.html