As it has come to most of our notice, partially thanks to the rainbow-filled timelines on facebook, the Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that Same-Sex marriage is a legality and a right, throughout all 50 states of the country. This historic decision is a culmination of more than a decade’s worth of struggle and hardwork, and we here at Baigan Chronicles are jubilant over this ruling! However, context is important and there are many hurdles that still persist not only in our country, but also in the United States of America, that must be crossed on the path that is ushering our species through the modern-era, and we must acknowledge these roadblocks and get through them.
The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote last Friday, that the Constitution now includes a guarantee of the right to same-sex marriage. Justice Kennedy has played a key role in bringing about this movement. He was involved in two other rulings pertaining to the gay-rights movement. This ruling has come two years after he played a part in striking down the federal law that denied several rights to married same-sex couples in the United States V. Windsor ruling and almost twelve years after his majority opinion in Lawrence V. Texas, which decriminalized Gay sex. “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” he wrote on Friday. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.” Many states, such as Michigan and Missouri, which previously had Same-Sex marriage banned are now coming out in support of the ruling! Celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Global Corporations such as Facebook, Yahoo, and Google have come out in support of this movement.
However, dissent has been shown, some in more extreme forms than others, with one state banning marriage itself, after the Supreme Court’s ruling. “No court, no law, no rule, and no words will change the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, claimed.
But in all of this, where does India pan out? Many Gay Rights advocates have come out and said that this ruling will certainly help change perspective in our country, and I find myself agreeing with them. However, in terms of legality, we as a country have a long and hard road to even achieve what The United States of America have achieved last Friday. Same-Sex marriages are not legal in India, and in 2014, the Supreme Court of India, overturning a decision of a High Court, criminalized Gay Sex, alienating a large portion of the gay community in India.
This is just legally speaking. From the point of view of people’s beliefs and the general mindset regarding the gay community it would seem that we have an even longer way to go than the legal procedures do. For a population of over a billion people, a surprisingly minor part of the population view homosexuality from the modern perspective. A high percentage of the people still quote archaic and almost inhumane reasons against homosexuality, and it is viewed as a taboo in most parts of India. Whether this is to be attributed to the wide illiteracy that plagues this country, the archaic nature of our so called ‘cultures’, or the mass disease of ignorance among a lot of the youth, we will leave up to you to decide.
Still, among all this, the glimmer of hope persists! I have come across numerous people who not only share the modern view with regards to homosexuality, but also those who advocate it. However we must be cautious in terms of the consistency of our support. Many people halfheartedly advocate it because it looks ‘cool’ and once the hype dies, they stop propagating it. That policy will not work in this case. The support has to be consistent throughout the entire road and cannot waver. Here’s what Shagun Singh, Founder of the Neckbreak gaming organization, had to say with regards to this phenomenon. “Now in India we never fail to show that great tradition of parroting what the west does but I really am not looking forward to being disappointed. I already see many people changing their pictures to the rainbow colored version to show support, but I’m highly skeptical about how many people actually know what it is about and I am willing to bet most of them are just changing it because its the ‘in’ thing to do.” However, with respect to the ruling, he said; “This is what homosexuals have been asking for since a long time, equality. I for one am really happy about the ruling, and it probably is one of the most important moments to happen during this era, and this right will shape the further generations to come not only in the United States, but also the rest of the world.”
We sincerely hope that within the next few years, India too finds its Justice Kennedy, and is ushered into the modern age.