A Curative Petition
My favourite Indian author, Vikram Seth, perhaps best known for his epic novel, A Suitable Boy, said this last year:
'You may as well be yourself because really there is no one else you can be. We are here for such a ridiculously short time in this ridiculously trivial corner of the universe that if we aren't ourselves, what's the point of doing anything at all? So I would say in all matters, whether it's your profession, whether it's your beliefs or the person you love, you must go at heart with who you are. Not what someone else tells you, not what your clan tells you, not even what an unjust law tells you.'
In the same speech, he also made this simple but powerful statement:
'Intolerance is violence. And accepted intolerance is violence with the acquiescence of the society.'
A curative petition is a small step with the potential to make a big change, and a step taken in one country, through one legal system, that can send a message of hope to those who are persecuted worldwide. Homosexuality is illegal in eighty-two countries and punishable by death in the Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and most recently, Uganda.
It is a very positive sign that The Indian Supreme Court is hearing this petition, especially following the Court's unexpected recognition of a third gender earlier this month, a breakthrough for advocates of sexual minority rights. You can read more about it here.
For a powerful documentary about the world's ever-changing response to homosexuality, and global observations of corrective prison sentences, corrective rape, and corrective therapy, I highly recommend Stephen Fry's two-year journey with the BBC, Out There. You can watch both episodes here if you like.
Thanks for reading. If you have friends living in countries affected by the criminalization of homosexuality, why not share this with them?