Same-sex relationships: The Fight for Rights must go on

Same-sex relationships: The Fight for Rights must go on

A liberal wave is flowing across the world. In a trend that began in the university campuses in the Western Liberal Democracies, social conservatism has been on the decline as more and more people are willing to look past the established order. Prejudices and stereotypes are being broken down and equal rights are being accorded to all. Despite the best efforts of the regressive religious organisations and political groups, we are no longer slaves to the existing order. Those that benefit from the status quo always resist change, and those that suffer always enact it. But, this change in morality for progressive acts like same-sex relationships doesn’t happen overnight.

 

Beyond the privileged west, we have seen some positive steps in countries like India, where the Supreme Court repealed section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which recognised homosexuality as criminal and unnatural. Undoubtedly, this is a huge step in the right direction for a country rooted in its rigid customs and traditions, but the battle has hardly been won. Of course, this struggle is not just restricted to India. In the United States, the legalisation of same-sex marriage took place in 2003, but the decision was not very popular. Northeastern University alumnus and adjunct professor Roderick L. Ireland, then an associate justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Court had sided with the 4 judges that approved same-sex marriage and appropriately received thousands of hateful emails, letters, and phone calls.

 

 Just the mere setting of a legal precedent does not immediately rid society of its bigots. Discrimination across the world continues on grounds of sexual orientation and preference. Human morality too takes time to evolve. Many are unwilling to accept homosexuality today, but a progressive government believe that legal morality does eventually seep into the public consciousness and shapes their manner of thinking. While this argument does hold merit, in the interim, we must not become complacent. The battle for the rights of marginalised communities must not stop with a simple change in the law. This must be seen as an extremely significant milestone, albeit not the ends to a movement that seeks to not just bring about equality in the eyes of the law, but also in the eyes of the society.

 

Aryaman Sood 

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Aryaman Sood

aryaman.sood_ug21@ashoka.edu.in

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