Should homosexuality be criminalised?


Rohit Dhankar

A lot is being written on the Supreme Court judgment regarding declaring homosexual relationship a crime. Most of the writing seems to be an expression of opinion. For any public debate to be intelligent and be able to enlighten it needs two kinds (at the least) bases. One, a set of moral principle that are at the least good enough to be considered seriously by all. And two, accurate information on the issue.

It seems to me that the set of moral principle can be provided by the democratic values. One, the most basic value being well-being of all, without any kind of discrimination. Two, autonomy of the individuals to define well-being for themselves. Three, acceptance of the autonomy of others by all. And four, recognition that human existence and well-being is possible only in social living. Once we accept this much, the rest will logically follow, to my mind.

The problem in the present opinion brandishing on homosexuality is that we (I mean general public, and not experts) do not seem to have adequate information on the nature of this disposition. In my view the major issues are:

1. Is homosexuality something to be socially ashamed of?
2. Should it be declared a crime?
3. Should homosexual marriage be legally recognised?
4. Can a homosexual couple be allowed to adopt and raise a child?

To deliberate on these issues properly we need the following information:
• The issue of innateness
a. Is homosexual disposition innate?
b. If innate, is it unchangeable?
c. If innate, what percentage of people are born with this disposition?
• The effect of childhood experience
a. Does child abuse develop this disposition?
b. Is it learnt through exposure (may be without abuse) to adults sexual behavior?
c. If it is learn though either abuse or exposure, can it be changed?
d. Is sexual attraction directed to the same sex when appropriate partner of opposite sex is unavailable for whatever reasons?

Unless we have authentic information on the second set of questions, we cannot decide on the first set. The second set demands empirical answers, and the first set demands norm-setting.

Does anyone have authentic information on the second set? If it is available, the answers to the second set questions can be worked out by using the empirical information together with the set of normative principles listed in the second paragraph above.
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5 Responses to Should homosexuality be criminalised?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rohitji,

    I am not a biologist, but have read in biological writings often that attraction towards the ‘same’ sex is quite common in nature, in animals other than human. Sexual behaviour is seen in a wide variety of forms in other primates too. In fact, even though the two binaries of male and female may exist in larger numbers, there are lots of variation, almost a continuum in sexual formation and behaviour of primates including humans (by formation, I mean body structure as well as psychological orientation). In that case, it is hardly surprising that we find variation in human society too. I think as far as biological evidence is concerned, there is no debate at all. However, in human society, we are such pathetic victims of stereotyping and cultural biases that any behaviour different from the accepted stereotype becomes deviant and punishable. This is true for nearly every sexual behaviour other than the stereotypes presented by mainstream media or endorsed by major religions.

    anshumala

    Like

    • Devraj says:

      Mr Rohit Dhamkar,
      aap sayad mujhe nahi pahchnate hoge leking main aap ko hamesha yaad rakhunka kyoki jab aap apni beti ke sadi ka jasha mana raha the tabhi aapne mujhe digantar se nikal diye the aur main apne mata ji ka maut ka matam mana raha tha. You seem to be very innocent but you are most fucking bastard. Ap fellow lete hai aur apni marji se nikal dete hai.Bada bada article nahi likiye aur fellow lekar dust bin mein mat nikal dijiye . Ho sakta hai mere jaise bahut fellow majburi mein naukri ke liye aaya ho jo sare salary apne mataji ke treatment mein lagata hp. You r bastard.
      Devraj Rakshit

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rohitji,

    Would you like to read the soft copies of the matter I might have as reference, or would you just like to know my general understanding of what I’ve read all this while, as I tried to figure out a few of the above questions and some other minor ones.

    If you’d like the soft copies, please feel free to leave a comment here and I will write to your publicly available email to coordinate.

    Regards,
    Anupama

    Like

    • Rohit Dhankar says:

      Anupama ji, I responded through email by saying that I would like both: your considered answers as well as the material in soft copy. but it did not appear here some some reason, so am writing again.

      Like

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