Meanwhile, on the other side of the world

While we wait for further progress on LGBT rights here in the United States, I am thrilled to see that things just got a whole lot better for gays and lesbians in the world's largest democracy. From the Times:
In a landmark ruling Thursday that could usher in an era of greater freedom for gay men and lesbians in India, New Delhi’s highest court decriminalized homosexuality.

“The inclusiveness that Indian society traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life, is manifest in recognizing a role in society for everyone,” judges of the Delhi High Court wrote in a 105-page decision, India’s first to directly address rights for gay men and lesbians. “Those perceived by the majority as ‘deviants’ or ‘different’ are not on that score excluded or ostracized,” the decision said.

Homosexuality has been illegal in India since 1861, when British rulers codified a law prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.” The law, known as Section 377 of India’s penal code, has long been viewed as an archaic holdover from colonialism by its detractors.
Hooray for good news! India remains a remarkably conservative country, where religion permeates daily life in a way that far surpasses the United States, so this hardly means that gays and lesbians can look forward to wholesale acceptance anytime soon. [Editor's note -- this expert opinion is based on two weeks I spent traveling through India, plus a taste for books set there, so can be dismissed out of hand if you happen to know better.] But this is an indescribably good step in the right direction.

Let's not forget that homosexuality was still illegal in parts of the United States until 2003. (And let me express my warm, warm regards to Justices Scalia and Thomas for their dissents, though at least Thomas conceded that the law against homosexual sex was "uncommonly silly.") While things on the federal level are still sluggish, look at the remarkable progress we've made in six states since then.

For those of you who are feeling inspired, and would like to help keep the ball rolling in the right direction, you can start by clicking here.


  1. Things at the Federal level are sluggish? What happened, didn't you elect "a leader G-d has blessed us with at this time?" Wasn't he supposed to be scary smart and super progressive? Oh, wait, he doesn't actually believe in SSM personally, and he'll promise to push for a repeal of DADT and DOMA, but to date, all he has *done* is cash your checks. And abandon repeal of DOMA and DADT , according to John Aravosis at Americablog.

    But wait, the Neanderthal Repubs are out of power, and the Modern Dems control both houses of Congress. Umm, haven't they been in control for 2.5 years? Why yes, yes they have. And they still haven't done anything about DOMA or DADT or SSM? Why no, I don't believe they have done anything, despite having the votes. But they have cashed your checks, just like our beloved President.

    I dunno, but I think y'all might do better than to give your votes and cash to a group of pols who clearly don't give a tinker's darn about your interests. Maybe unseat some of the octogenerian and septugenerian Democratic leaders who have been insulated in DC since before most Americans were born? Just a thought.

  2. *checks watch* Yup. There's the contrarian Gadlfy John post, right on schedule.

    And who would you suggest to unseat them, John? I'm all ears.