Social Issues

Legalising same-sex marriage would be a just step forward

Legalising same-sex marriage is a logical step towards recognising and integrating India’s LGBTQIA+ minority, which has been marginalised and persecuted for decades. While decriminalising homosexuality was a step in the right direction, extending civil rights such as marriage and adoption is critical in developing a more varied and inclusive society.

LGBTQIA+ community

  • The acronym LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual/Ally. The plus symbol is frequently used to include various identities and orientations not specifically mentioned in the acronym.
  • Individuals who identify as any of these sexual orientations or gender identities are referred to by this word.
  • Individuals in the community may endure discrimination, marginalisation, and stigma as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The community aims to achieve societal and legal recognition and protection for equal rights and acceptance.

Problems faced by LGBTQIA+ community in India

  • Discrimination: Because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are frequently subjected to discrimination, harassment, and violence.
  • Homosexuality is still stigmatised in many sectors of Indian society, and LGBTQIA+ persons are frequently ostracised, ridiculed, and excluded from social activities.
  • Lack of legal protection: The Indian legal system does not provide complete legal protection against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination and violence.
  • Due to the stress and persecution they confront, members of the LGBTQIA+ community frequently experience health difficulties such as HIV/AIDS, depression, anxiety, and substance addiction.
  • Limited access to healthcare: Many members of the LGBTQIA+ community suffer hurdles to receiving healthcare services, particularly mental health care and HIV/AIDS treatment, due to social stigma and discrimination.
  • Family rejection: Many LGBTQIA+ people endure rejection and disownment from their families, which can lead to mental health problems, homelessness, and financial insecurity.
  • Employment discrimination: Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are frequently subjected to workplace discrimination, including being denied jobs, promotions, and other opportunities based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Same-sex marriage is not legal in India, and LGBTQIA+ couples do not have the same legal rights and protections as heterosexual couples.

What is mean by homosexuality?

  • Homosexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person is primarily attracted to others of the same gender. It is neither a sickness or mental condition, but rather a natural diversity of human sexuality. The phrase refers to a person’s identification, behaviour, and attraction towards persons of the same gender.

What is the social stigma associated with homosexuality in India?

  • Religious and cultural beliefs: India is a varied cultural and religious country with deep-seated traditional beliefs. Many people believe that homosexuality is a sin that goes against these principles.
  • Inadequate awareness and education: In India, there is still a lack of understanding and education regarding homosexuality, which leads to many misconceptions and unfavourable stereotypes.
  • Discrimination and harassment: People who are open about their homosexuality are frequently discriminated against and harassed by society, including family, friends, and workplace.
  • Legal status: Homosexuality was illegal in India until recently, further stigmatising the group.
  • Masculinity norms: Masculinity is typically associated with traditional gender roles in Indian society, which can make it difficult for persons who do not conform to these norms.
  • The absence of portrayal of LGBTQ+ individuals in Indian media and popular culture can contribute to a lack of understanding and empathy for their experiences.

What exactly is meant by same-sex marriage?

  • The legal acknowledgment of a marriage between two people of the same sex is known as same-sex marriage.
  • It provides same-sex couples with the same legal and social recognition, rights, and privileges as marriage, such as property rights, inheritance rights, and the freedom to make medical decisions for each other.
  • Same-sex marriage is recognised differently around the world, with some countries legalising it while others do not.
  • The issue has sparked great debate and controversy, with arguments for and against same-sex marriage based on religious, cultural, social, and legal factors.

Arguments for same-gender marriage

  • Civil Rights: Legalising same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue that assures equal legal treatment for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • Equality: All citizens, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should have the freedom to marry the person they love.
  • Family: When it comes to adoption, inheritance, and other family-related issues, same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.
  • Mental Health: Same-sex couples who can marry get stronger mental health benefits as a result of improved social support, economic stability, and social acceptability.
  • Societal Stability: By expanding the number of legally recognised families and decreasing societal stigmas, legalising same-sex marriage can assist enhance social stability.

Arguments for and against same-gender marriage

  • Religious Beliefs: Many people oppose same-sex marriage because it is considered a sin by their religious beliefs.
  • Some people believe that same-sex marriage poses a danger to traditional family values.
  • Children: There are concerns that growing up in same-sex households would badly impact children.
  • Social implications: Some fear that legalising same-sex marriage will have negative social implications, such as family collapse and moral degeneration.
  • Slippery Slope: Some people feel that legalising same-sex marriage will lead to the legalization of other forms of non-traditional marriage.

Way ahead

  • Education and Awareness: To address the social stigma and prejudice towards LGBTQIA+ people, a prolonged education and awareness campaign might be started at multiple levels, including schools, universities, the media, and community organisations. This could also include sensitization training for various public and private sector employees in order to eliminate workplace discrimination and bias.
  • Advocacy: Pro-LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups could play a vital role in fighting for same-sex marriage legal recognition. This could include forming alliances with other civil society organisations, meeting with legislators, and utilising social media to raise awareness about the problem.
  • Legal Framework: To recognise same-sex weddings, a new legal framework might be formed, which would contain rights and safeguards for LGBTQIA+ people. This framework would need to address concerns such as inheritance rights, joint property ownership, and the legal recognition of children born through surrogacy or adoption to same-sex couples.
  • Consultation: To develop consensus on the topic, a broad consultation process might be launched with stakeholders from various communities, including religious leaders, civil society organisations, and LGBTQIA+ people.
  • Balancing Interests: The government may be hesitant in legalising same-sex marriage, taking into account the beneficial impacts such as social inclusion and individual rights, as well as the potential negative implications such as religious sensitivity and family values. This could entail striking a balance between individual rights and societal cohesion, while taking into account India’s distinct cultural and socioeconomic settings.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: The government could establish an independent organisation to monitor and evaluate the implementation of same-sex marriage legislation. This could aid in identifying areas of success as well as possible areas for improvement, ensuring that legalising same-sex marriages is a positive step forward for Indian society as a whole.

@the end

The ability to accept variety, include minorities, and integrate the marginalised is a hallmark of a progressive nation. Legalising same-sex marriage may open the path for future generations to reclaim India as the diverse, cosmopolitan, and inclusive civilisation that it has always been. The government should find a balance between individual rights and societal cohesion, while taking into account India’s distinct cultural and socioeconomic settings.

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