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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    June 25, 2009

    Why call it queer?

    Over the past 3-4 days, there've been multiple reports in Bangalore's newspapers about the Karnataka Queer Habba where individuals & organizations associated with homosexuality, sexual minorities, rights of sex-workers and sexual minorities will conduct various activities, including cricket matches, pride marches, discussions, film & theatre shows, etc.

    I totally support everyone's right to indulge in consensual (informed consent, to use the legal term) sexual behaviour, regardless of whether it is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, assuming that both parties are also aware of the risks associated.

    Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to 'Unnatural offences' makes no sense. It says

    377. Unnatural offences
    Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man,
    woman or animal, shall be punished with 152[imprisonment for life], or with
    imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and
    shall also be liable to fine.

    Explanation- Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary
    to the offence described in this section.
    Interestingly it doesn't refer to carnal intercourse with plants. Why doesn't the law cover those? Is sex with plants not against the order of nature?

    Being a homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual, etc. is an individual preference. To me, it's like choosing to be a vegetarian or non-vegetarian or choosing to be associated with a specific religion, sect or sub-sect. No-one, and really no-one, has a right to question your choice, especially on moral or social grounds.

    It's not about whether homosexuality in humans is deviant behaviour or not. Using the known existence of homosexuality in animals to argue that homosexuality in humans is nothing to be surprised about is a dangerous line. After all, we find cannibalism and filicidal behaviour in animals as well. I'm not aware of too many people who'd support humans exhibiting such behaviour.

    However, what I do find odd is the word 'queer' being used by the very people associated with the LGBT movement. 'Queer' has negative connotations and the synonyms associated would be "funny, odd, peculiar, unusual, strange".

    Surely, if the LGBT movement really wants to ensure that those associated with it are treated normally, the one thing they could think about doing is to not call themselves 'queer' any more!

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