Rights of LGBTQ Persons in India – Evolution and
With the youth becoming more conscious of their rights through information
exchange via social media, online education platforms, and use of internet in
general, the world is heading rapidly towards individualism from collectivism.
Individualism is defined as “a belief that individual people in a society should
have the right to make their own decisions, etc., rather than being controlled
by the government.”
The idea of individualism has ignited a wildfire in almost all corners of the
world, emphasizing on recognition of human rights, right to equality, right to
freedom of speech and expression, among many others. The human rights of
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people is an
important issue that has gained sharp focus through this movement.
The idea of human rights rests on the premise that all humans are equal. It
revolves around the belief that all humans have dignity and anything that
violates such dignity is a violation of the basic fundamentals of humanity. Most
constitutions across the world recognise the idea of such fundamental rights
that guarantee equality, freedom, and personal liberty. Such rights have been
successfully enforced in democracies such as the United States and India.
Despite this, many societies in the world continue to hold a bias against the
people from the LGBTQ community, subjecting them to grave inequality and
Evolution of Laws Related to Homosexuality in India
I. A Brief History:
Historically, same-sex relations and gender fluidity have been prominently
featured in ancient Indian texts and sculptures. The law criminalizing
homosexuality was formally introduced to India in 1862 by the British colonial
rulers when they included it under “unnatural offences” in section 377 of the
Indian Penal Code. This law punishing anyone who voluntarily had “carnal
intercourse against the order of nature” with any man or woman, continued to
be the biggest impediment to the full expression of sexuality and personhood
of LGBTQs in India even in the 21st century.
By this time, many countries in the world had shed their colonial and archaic
yoke â€“ starting with the Netherlands, which became the first country to
legalise homosexuality in 1811 itself. England too decriminalised
homosexuality in 1967.