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Hindu Reaction to Legalizing Consensual Gay Sex in India

The Delhi High Court on Thursday, July 2, 2009 delivered a historic judgment legalizing private consensual sex between adults of the same sex. So How did Hindus react to the historic judgment? The reaction of some of the Hindu priests was on expected lines and they condemned it. But several articles written by Hindu leaders and scholars welcomed the decriminalization of private consensual gay sex as they thought Hinduism had always accepted Gay relationships.

There is no central authority in Hinduism that reacts to incidents like the legalization of consensual Gay sex. Therefore opinions of Hindus vary. Some welcome, some accept, some ignore, some oppose it democratically and some react to it violently. The comments section of popular newspapers and news websites in India were filled with all these type of reactions.

Like it or not homosexuality is a reality and it is accepted by Hindu scriptures. Puranas and Epics have not condemned it and asks to learn to accept Gays and to avoid being intolerant.

But majority of Hindus consider homosexuality a taboo and it has no social acceptance.

Writing in the guardian.co.uk, Anil Bhanot of Hindu Council UK said that Hinduism does not condemn gay sex.

The ancient Hindu scriptures describe the homosexual condition to be a biological one, and although the scripture gives guidance to parents on how to avoid procreating a homosexual child, it does not condemn the child as unnatural.

…homosexual nature is part of the natural law of God; it should be accepted for what it is, no more and no less.

Homosexuals are full human beings, who in Hinduism even worship their own deity, the Mother Goddess Bahuchara, for their spiritual link to the Absolute Braham. They marry for the right reasons of commitment.

In the Times of India, Devdutt Pattanaik takes look into the various instances of homosexuality in Hindu scriptures. It is a thought provoking and well written article that touches the true teachings of Santana Dharma.

Indian lore is full of tales where men turn into women and women turn into men. Narada falls into a pond, becomes a woman, discovers the meaning of worldly delusion or maya. Shiva bathes in the Yamuna, becomes a gopi, a milkmaid, so that he can dance the raas-leela with Krishna.

How does one interpret these stories? Are they gay stories? They certainly shatter the conventional confines of gender and sexuality. Ancient Indian authors and poets without doubt imagined a state where the lines separating masculinity and femininity often blurred and even collapsed. Though awkward, these were not stray references. Such tales were consistent and recurring, narrated matter-of-factly, without guilt or shame. Such outpouring has its roots in Indian metaphysics.

The wise see masculinity and femininity as ephemeral robes that wrap the sexless genderless soul. The point is not to get attached to the flesh, but to celebrate its capabilities, discover its limitations, and finally transcend it.

The question before us is: does the human mind have the empathy to include gender and sexual ambiguity in civil human society? It does.

The question of Gay rights issue would have never happened had we realized that all living and non-living in this world are nothing but that Supreme Being and accepted it in the way they are. It becomes an issue when some people are not ready to accept the reality that Gays are part of Nature.

Hindu scriptures on numerous occasions have given hints that Gay is a reality and like all living beings they are born, grown and merge in the same source – Brahman.

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