When the Indian Supreme Court struck down the colonial-era law which criminalized consensual homosexual intercourse under Indian Penal Code Section 377, sex deemed “against the order of nature” could be punished with life imprisonment. Now, Indian law has caught up with Indian culture, leaders of the Hindu American Foundation asserted.
“There is no fundamental reason in Hindu spiritual teachings to reject or ostracize homosexuals. The core of Hindu spiritual teachings is that an individual’s essential nature is not rooted in his or her sexual orientation, or any external physical traits. What is most important is our ability to simultaneously embrace and see beyond these apparent external differences to celebrate the Divine core of our being, to transcend the body, senses, and ego.” — Swami Venkataraman, HAF National Leadership Council member and author of HAF’s brief on Hinduism and homosexuality.
With decriminalization of consensual sexual relations finally achieved, one remaining challenge for Indians, both in India and the diaspora, is fully making our families, religious centers, and organizations a welcoming space for LGBTQ individuals. That will be one more important step in shedding the Victorian-era mores that continue to influence Indic-sensibilities today.
Read HAF’s past statements and articles on Hinduism and/or homosexuality:
- HAF Policy Brief: Hinduism and Homosexuality
- HAF Commends Supreme Court Affirmation of National Marriage Equality
- HAF Commemorates One Year of Marriage Equality
- HAF Co-sponsors Townhall at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple on Creating Spaces for LGBTQIA Individuals
- HAF Urges Indian Supreme Court to Strike Down Outdated Section 377
- Section 377 No More: Evolving a Uniquely Hindu Perspective on LGBT Rights
- Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law and America’s Right Hand