Religion vs Love: ‘Dharm Gurus’ Continue to Vilify Gay People
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta and Ashutosh Bharadwaj
Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya
After the Supreme Court judgment, speaking to India Today, Swami Chakrapani of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha said that decriminalising homosexuality is a “wrong step”, and that India will become a nation of homosexuals if this happens.
The same sentiment was echoed by dharm gurus of various religions.
A pastor raised slogans in the Coimbatore district court against the apex court’s decision and said, “Homosexuality is a big crime, don't support it. It will ruin the society and the country.”
Despite the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment, religious leaders continue to oppose the LGBTQ+ community in India.
Organised Religion Vs Rainbow
Even as India celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision, many of our dharm gurus stuck to their views. Despite the verdict, they continued to say that homosexuality is 'immoral', an 'illness', 'unnatural', 'ungodly', and even 'un-Indian'!
Swami Chakrapani of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha even wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi asking him to bring up the matter in Parliament.
Reacting to the judgment, The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India said, “This does not mean that homosexual acts or behaviour is morally acceptable or justified. It violates the purpose of human sexuality which is procreation.”
Let’s rewind to 2013 when Pope Francis had said, “If someone is gay and searched for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”
So, if the Vatican can soften its view on homosexuality, why are some priests in India still so shrill about their homophobia?
Medical Science Doesn’t Consider Homosexuality a Disease
The argument that we hear most often from these godmen is this – homosexuality violates God’s rules and the laws of nature and that it is an “illness” that needs to be cured.
In fact, here’s a spoiler for godmen across the world, this is actually no longer a debate. As far back as 1992, the World Health Organisation conclusively stated that homosexuality is NOT a disease.
It is a sexual orientation – as normal as heterosexuality. For decades now, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, the gold standard across the world on mental health, have asserted that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, but a form of human sexuality.
And some godmen have been heard saying legitimising homosexuality will give India a bad name.
A bad name for treating all its citizens equally? For fighting discrimination against a community which has faced decades of violence and trauma at the hands of society and the law?
Ancient Indian Society Accepted Homosexuality
Ancient Indian society did accept homosexuality.
Khajuraho, Vedic texts, the legend of Bhagirathi, and the story of Varuna and Mitra, all stand testimony to the acceptance of societies.
So to those pandits, maulvis and priests still clinging to their homophobia – medical science doesn’t support you, ancient Indian society doesn’t agree with you and now, the Supreme Court, too, is against what you argue.
So why don’t you step out of your closet of intolerance and join the rest of us?