Held in association with NextGen India, the online debate ‘Has the Indian Govt. made a mockery of the homosexuality issue?’ saw active participation by many. Gay rights activist Harrish Iyer(@hiyer), was one of the panelists. In case you missed the debate, below is a transcript of the hour long debate held on Mar 31st.
@Dhruva_Mathur: Welcome@hiyeron today’s#nextgendebates. We ask you to introduce yourself and make your statement on the motion
@hiyer:I am Harish Iyer.An active voice for many causes, homosexuality being one of them.
@hiyer: I think that the govt hasn’t made a mockery of homosexuality. It has made a mockery of itself. I feel that the govt has been playing yo-yo with homosexuals in the country.
@sukhi88: The government has just been shy, but has pretty much stood for gays now by favouring Delhi HC verdict
@hiyer:Why is it so uncomfortable to tell the world that you’d allow 2 ADULTS to have CONSENSUAL sex in their bedroom for anybody?
@hiyer:@sukhi88glad that it’s decided to remove the ghoongat on this issue of gay suhaag raat. “Finally” yes, it did stand 4 gays.
@Beatrice108: What do you think is behind the GoI unclear stance on homosexuality?
@hiyer: @Beatrice108 The fact that everything takes a “religious” overturn in India, maybe one of the reasons.
@sukhi88: @Beatrice108 The fear of political backlash in a country still shy of the talking about sex.
@hiyer:@sukhi88 Well sukhi. We are a nation that doesn’t speak of sex. We only do a lot of it.
@Dhruva_Mathur: @hiyerDo you think that the government’s stand has been influenced to some extent by culture?
@hiyer:@Dhruva_Mathur I wish it was really influenced by culture because India HAS a culture of homosexuality in our age old sculptures.
@Dhruva_Mathur: @hiyerYes but the govt has constantly relied on that ‘cultural values’ statement. Why so? If facts are against it?
@hiyer: @Dhruva_Mathur Because they don’t want to look at facts. We only accept what comforts us.
@Beatrice108: I’m no expert: Would it have been faster (HC verdict to SC) with govt. support from beginning?
@sukhi88: With govt support things would have been more favourable, not faster I think.@Beatrice108
@hiyer:@Beatrice108 not faster. But I’d love to walk with Politicos in queer pride marches across india 🙂
@Dhruva_Mathur: @sukhi88Why do you think it would have been favorable but not faster? Is it the pressure group influence at play?
@sukhi88: @Dhruva_Mathur Had the govt. taken the parliament route, it would have been adjourned every day, and in courts, each side is given their time.
@Dhruva_Mathur: @sukhi88But the Govt has a majority in the parliament.
@sukhi88: @Dhruva_Mathur It is a coalition govt, you never know what the allies will support, plus, opposition is an expert in adjournments
@Dhruva_Mathur: @hiyerSo will you say that the government is purposely denying people their rights?
@hiyer: Not just denying. It doesn’t want to acknowledge the existence
@sukhi88:Yes but they are elected. So are elected representatives denying people who elected them their rights?
@sukhi88: @Dhruva_Mathuryes, but among those elected representatives also comes the opposition and not just the govt.
@Dhruva_Mathur: @sukhi88So can it be said that the elected representatives are purposely denying a section of the Indian population their rights?
@hiyer:These elected representatives are the product of the same biased society. So in a way, yes.
@Dhruva_Mathur: @hiyer So is it correct on the part of the population to elect these leaders then?
@hiyer: @Dhruva_Mathur no one is so out to support gays. @MeeraSanyal did, as an independent candidate.
@sukhi88: @Dhruva_Mathur Well, the population that elects the govt is not just LGBT, large number of straights are still homophobic , sigh.
@Beatrice108: @sukhi88I hope the govt keeps being “enlightened” on the issue
@hiyer: @Beatrice108 until we are holding the torch, the govt will remain enLIGHTened. 🙂
@hiyer:I feel homosexuality also comes later. What rights do transgenders have in our country? Aren’t they human?
@Dhruva_Mathur: @sukhi88What is your opinion on@hiyer‘s question: “what rights do transgenders have in our country?”
@sukhi88: @Dhruva_Mathurtransgenders have a very difficult life compared to anyone. I totally agree with@hiyerhere
@Beatrice108 :Perhaps the issue is broader. All sexualities should be protected. Agree with transgenders’ hardship.
@Dhruva_Mathur: @sukhi88@hiyerSo should the rights for homosexuality eventually lead to rights for the transgender?
@hiyer: @Dhruva_Mathur We gays need to be more sensitive to T and B rights. Bisexuals and Trans are as natural as straight and gay. I feel our opponents think a lot about sex. They fail to acknowledge that love is beyond gender. We need the right to live a dignified life. The opponents make it look like we are fighting for the right to fornicate.
@sukhi88: @Dhruva_Mathur @hiyer we are just not fighting for the rights of gays, but for LGBTs, which includes all
@hiyer: @Dhruva_Mathur we are so diverse that we have prejudice within ourselves. YES we need to be more inclusive.
@Dhruva_Mathur: So we conclude the debate with the conclusions that elected representatives belonging to political parties don’t support homosexuality. And as@hiyersaid that rights are being denied here. Homosexuality rights must lead to rights for the transgender.
@Dhruva_Mathur: It’s been an interesting debate with many points coming up. Nextgen India would like to thank all the participants.
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