The Crime of Homosexuality

Not really; technically he said (while signing DOMA) that he was “mindful that we are all sinners.” He didn’t single out homosexuals. However, his statement carried the implication that homosexuality was a sin.

One really should have more info on the details of the India law in order to contribute usefully to this thread.

How is it enforced? IS it enforced? Is it a national or state law? And what EXACTLY does the law proscribe? You cannot proscribe “homosexuality”–a disposition not thought to be under an individual’s control–any more than you can proscribe being too tall. So let’s assume that what is outlawed is something like “sexual intimacy between men.” But what is THAT? Kissing? Deep kissing? Men masturbating (themselves) while looking at each other? Oral sex? Anal sex?

Does it apply to both women and men? Is it primarily aimed at what Jesse Helms might call “recruitment”?

Is it, perhaps, about official RECOGNITION of same-sex relationships?

Or prostitutes engaged in cross-dressing, maybe?

Details really do matter in something like this.

What is outlawed is “unnatural sexual acts”, under Chap. XVI, Sec. 377 of the Indian Penal Code, and it dates back to 1860:
“Unnatural offences 377. Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”.

It’s not actually enforced unless someone lodges a complaint with the police under this section (“Help, officer, I’ve been sodomized”). It really cannot be enforced any other way, because pretty much any act except straight-up sex falls under “unnatural”, including oral sex.

I did find a site saying that only 30 cases have come to trial under this section, but it was a message board post with no cites, and I couldn’t find any other reliable data about this. It does seem like it’s not usually enforced, and that’s one of the things the Indian Government, which is refusing to remove it, is saying in it’s defence. Activists against this law claim, quite rightly, that it doesn’t matter if it’s enforced, it shouldn’t exist at all. There are petitions challenging this law in the Indian Supreme court as unconstitutional. I don’t think there has been any ruling, it should be interesting to see what happens.

Interesting site about this:

Is there a cite about the George Bush speech saying that “we are all sinners”? I’d really like to see this.

IMHO, the President shouldn’t be calling anyone sinners.

IMO, Philadelphia was a fairly realistic portrait of American attititudes, especially as it pertains to homosexality and AIDS. This is still a very homophobic country but that homophobia is not usually overtly institutionalized and most people are not physically violent about it. There are still a lot of assumptions, stereotypes and enough open harassment that it’s difficult to be openly gay without suffering consequences. They also get badgered and scapegoated by Fundamentalist Christians a lot. A lot of fundies seem obsessed with gay sex to the exclusion of almost anything else.


To answer Aldebaran, the issues and reactions and such presented in Philadelphia are fairly accurate depending on where you are in this country.

Damn. I tried to post about the Bush “sinners” thing hours ago, but I guess it didn’t work. dwalin: Yes, he really said it. It was on July 31, was on every evening news show, and was front-page news the next day.

And the comment in question was “I am mindful that we’re all sinners. And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of the neighbor’s eye when they got a log in their own.”

[Grammar!.. brain… EXPLODING… :mad:]

In fact, in this quote he’s attempting to ask people to be tolerant- while at the same time, calling homosexuality a sin, which is not exactly a tolerant position. :stuck_out_tongue:

For which part?

Noticeable presence in Bombay? I was born and brought up there.

Castrated part?

Background: [URL=]

Castration itself? A rare forced firsthand observation (those acting as beggars harass you at traffic stops)

There was also a comprehensive survey by the Times of India about 5 years back. Can’t find it online. (They came online only a couple years or so ago)

Age of initiation? Mentioned in that survey.

Isn’t it ethnocentric and anti-multiculturalist for people in the USA to criticize India for outlawing homosexuality?