Thursday, September 30, 2004

ASHOK'S RESPONSE TO ARTICLE "Society's not in a gay mood"

From: lgbt-india

Sir,

It is distressing to read Dominic Emmanuel's ridiculous homophobic article dripping with self-righteous superciliousness laced with camoflaged Christian compassion for his homosexual fellow creatures.

Firstly, the Naz Petition was dismissed on technical grounds and the allegedly learned judges did not even hear out the arguments asked for from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and the Union Health Ministry as requested for by the previous bench hearing the petition.

So the glee with which Emmanuel greets the 'rejection' is not just factually incorrect but will be short-lived because we homosexuals will fight it with all our might, come what may.

May I contradict his pulpit pomposity point-by-point?

Firstly, none of us "chooses to be gay" just as nobody chooses to write with his left hand. In a homophobic society where you could be even killed for just being homosexual (as in some Islamic/Christian countries), nobody in his right sense will "choose" to be gay.

It's shocking that Emmanuel knows so little about modern clinical psychology or sexuality and has been given space to defame and make derogatory statements about a community under so much stress by comparing us to murderers,the corrupt and people who wish to bring sati back.

He opens himself to legal proceedings and trying to create unrest between communities based on his hate-speech.

Secondly, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the American Psychiatrist Association (APA), the World Association of Sexologists (WAS) and scores of other professional organisations associated with sexual and mental health now term homosexuality as a "sexual orientation" and not even a mental abberation or "un-natural tendency", as he so delicately puts it.

Thirdly, I find it quite revealing that Emmanuel selectively points out only two examples of places where homosexuality occurs: he mentions male/female boarding schools and defence forces. Has he forgotten the third one? The Roman Catholic Church? The USA's most learned commentator Andrew Sullivan has openly written that you cannot get admission into Catholic orders if you are NOT homosexual. I heartily advice Emmanuel to go to his website (andrewsullivan.com) and read it to reveal the not-so-secret goings on in the Catholic Church.

I am personally counseling numerous Catholic priests who are gay AND HIV positivr and have no support,counseling or help from this self-proclaimed religious nut-house called the Catholic Church.

Fourthly, I have always been making fun of our great BJP-wallahs and the VHP/Banjrang Dal lunatics that Section 377 of the IPC was introduced by a Christian administrator Babington Macaulay, who brought it with him to India as baggage from his home country called 'Great' Britain, where it was introduced into the British Criminal Code from Eclestial Law. Precisely from the King James Bible.

Interestingly,King James,a rampaging homosexual was murdered by his wife after being caught with his male lovers: He could use some of Emmanuel's Christian compassion as his wife got him impaled on a hot rod.

Fifth Point: It is ridiculous that a country with a Hindu majority populace is being governed by a Christian religious treatise, a point to be noted with India having hardly 4 per cent Christian population. This is not just anti-secular but a distinctly undemocratic act, as Emmanuel will agree.

Sixth Point: Emmanuel may also be saddened to know that even Great Britain -- where this law originated -- has now removed it and so have very 'Catholic countries' like Spain and France, a country his head-priest, the Pope has called "Eldest Daughter of the Church".

Obviously, nobody is listening to dear Emmanuel, which paradoxically means "happy tidings" in Latin (!!!)

Seventh Point: We homosexals and others 'sinners' are least concerned with the "quick fixes" the Church is so against. Afterall, the quick fixes are pretty quick while hiding the scandals of gay priests -- there is a letter written by the Church to its various branches in the USA which says such things must not be revealed to the press and public.

The rampant pedophilia in Catholic institutions is a well known fact even in India where such cases have been quickly hushed up by an ever-willing English press which obliges the Church with its coverups; it is only the language press which exposes these incidents in India.

Eighth Point: What exactly does Emmanuel mean by "false allegations that the Church must stop interfering into what happens in people's bedrooms"?

Does this mean the Church has a 'right' to interfere in telling us what we do sexually? Whatever makes Emmanuel think that hetero-normativity is a "sublime and fundamental truth" when his very own Church is staffed by single men who refuse to copulate and are maintained by a dictat of compulsary celibacy?

What happens to that "sublime and fundemental truth" if I were to say that homosexuals too can have children or adopt them. Besides, it might pain Emmanuel no end to know that a majority of homosexuals I have counseled are not just married to women but put them at high risk to both STIs and HIV.

Does Emmanuel know that the highest risk that Indian women face is being married to men: the NACO website clearly reveals that over 80 per cent of Indian women who are HIV positive have had no other partner besides their husbands.

So will Emmanuel then advice Indian women to become lesbian or nuns to boot to escape being infected and dying from various STIs and HIV/AIDS?

Nineth Point: I will request readers to disallow Emmanuel's allegation about Freud. Nowhere did Freud ever suggest that homosexuals could be 'changed' through counseling. Obviously, the Church has done a great deal of "re-writing" Freud and this needs to be condemned. I suggest he re-read Freud because many of us are quite uptodate with Freud's theories, out-dated though they are in the present context.

Emmanuel completely misquotes the Naz Petition when he says  that "Naz concedes too that homosexual relations are highly vulnerable to the spread of HIV".

The correct position is that "unprotected sex" of any kind -- heterosexual or homosexual -- makes one vulnerable to STIs, various viruses like Herpes, Hep-B/C and HIV/AIDS.

It is a shame that the Roman Catholic Church refuses to recognise that condoms are the ONLY protection for millions of women vulnerable to these infections.

The Church is thus complicit in the infections and must be condemned for its stand against the use of condoms in sexual relations even within marriage and thus condemning innocent women to illness and death.

Finally, may I confide in your readers that the Roman Catholic Church is in good company. It was the Church and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC)which opposed the recent Brazilian resolution at the UN to make "sexual orientation" a basic right for political prisoners to be recognised as such.

I am sure Emmanuel will also agree to the OIC's member countries flogging thieves, amputating limbs and stoning to death 'sinners' and such people all in the right spirit and, of course, without a "quick fix".

Afterall you are known by the company you keep, Emmanuel.

Good tidings indeed!!!

Ashok Row Kavi
chair-person
Humsafar Trust

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