Homosexuals seek social networking sites’ support May 26, 2008Posted by nitinkarani in English, Online/New Media, Section 377, Television.
Tags: facebook, Gay, orkut, Social networking
New Delhi, May 25: Unable to come out in the open most of the times about their sexual orientation, thousands of homosexual youngsters are now turning to popular networking sites to get heard and evolve a social consensus for their rights.
Online social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and Myspace are getting flooded with hundreds of communities advocating “natural rights” of gays and lesbians and inviting “like-minded people” to pour out their views and emotions with anonymity.
Forums like Indian Gay Liberation Movement, glad to be gay, anti-homophobia (India) and support gay rights are among hundreds others, which are actively discussing several problems being faced by the homosexuals.
The clamour for the gay rights has resurfaced after the Union Home Ministry had contended in the Delhi High Court that by treating homosexuality as a criminal offence, the government is protecting public health and morals.
“Indian society strongly disapproves of homosexuality and the disapproval is strong enough to justify it being treated as a criminal offence,” it has said.
The argument was made in response to a PIL demanding changes in section 377 of IPC which makes all types of unnatural sex a punishable offence.
The contention has triggered furious responses from the homosexuals and right activists, mainly through social networking websites and blogs, terming it as “arbitrary and illogical.”
Terming the government`s stand as “detrimental to the very spirit of the constitutional right of equality,” a gay right activist, Aditya Bandhopadhyay, said that government is keener in protecting a rule made by the Britishers nearly 150 years back while ignoring the fundamental right of equality.
“Internet has proved very helpful in creating awareness about homosexuality as a natural behaviour and in protecting the rights of those having a such sexual orientation.
Networking websites are helping in generating a national response to the problem,” added Bandhopadhyay, also a legal consultant.
Twenty one-year old Nipun from Indore, leading an Orkut forum Indian Gay Liberation Movement, says in his online profile, “Social networking sites and blogs have been a wonderful forum for me to reach out to a large number of people with my views in the issue of gay rights.”
His community on popular networking site put forward a three-pronged demand – replacement of section 377 of IPC, making discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence and approval for the gay marriages in the country.
However, in a respite to the community, the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), which comes under ministry of health, has said that the law has to go because it impair controlling the HIV infection.
Highlighting the vulnerability of homosexuals to HIV infection, the NACO has said there were around 25 lakh male homosexuals and around eight percent of them were infected with HIV while in normal people it is only one per cent, an affidavit by NACO has said.