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Armed forces say no to homosexuality

Friday, July 10, 2009 04:18:45 PM, IANS

 

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New Delhi: India's armed forces have received the Delhi High Court's judgement decriminalising homosexuality with a resounding "no", with armed forces acts saying such behaviour is deemed unnatural and can be a punishable offence.

 

Gay rights remain a largely metropolitan phenomenon and homosexuality is strict taboo for a majority of India's 1.1 million soldiers, the Indian military stresses. Citing global trends, it contends that legalising homosexuality in the services is not feasible.

 

"No armed force in the world has legalised homosexuality as in an institution like this it can have adverse consequences. Soldiers are posted in the remotest of areas and have to live in close proximity for long. Any legalisation of homosexuality would adversely impact inter-personnel relations," a senior official of the Indian Army told media, requesting anonymity.

 

"Moreover, our jawans come from a rural background and they do not consider homosexuality normal behaviour."

 

During recruitment, the Indian military establishment does not ask the sexual orientation of the applicant. But in the forces, homosexuality is deemed "indecent" and "unnatural" behaviour and can lead to court martial.

 

Though the Armed Forces Act does not mention homosexuality, it is illegal under sections 45 and 46 (a) of the Army Act, 1950, and the Air Force Act, 1950, which deal with "unbecoming conduct" and "any disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent or unnatural kind".

 

Offenders are liable to face court martial. They may also be cashiered or suffer other punishment.

 

The Navy Act, 1957, makes "indecent act" and "unbecoming conduct" illegal, which effectively includes homosexuality.

 

The Delhi High Court ruled July 2 that gay sex among consenting adults is not a crime. The court sought changes in the Indian Penal Code's Section 377, a relic from the British Raj, which relates to "unnatural offences" and says that "whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal should be punished".

 

The British Army now openly welcomes gays into its ranks.

In the US, the policy of 'don't ask, don't tell' is followed - gays are prohibited from speaking about their sexual orientation while serving in the armed forces. They face dismissal if they do so. The US Congress has passed a specific law that homosexuals are ineligible to be enlisted in the armed forces.

 

"The repercussions (of legalising homosexuality in the armed forces) in India would be very serious. There may be cases when a senior forces a junior into the act and proves it to be consensual," another official of the Indian Army said.

 

According to the officials, there have been several incidents of homosexuals being asked to put in their papers and cadets being expelled from the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakvasla, for their "unbecoming conduct".

 

"Though we think that sexual preferences are a matter of personal choice, legalising homosexuality in the armed forces is a big no. Just think about the NDA where one remains in close proximity with other cadets. Legalising homosexuality would certainly increase sexual harassment cases," an Indian Air Force (IAF) official added.

 

 

 

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Comments:

 

Assigning gay marriage legal status is a sign of total disregard of the family institution and the upholding of instincts of depravity and degenerate activities. It would have been better for such people to embrace celibacy or then to channelize themselves to improving the lot of the world. God knows there is enough sorrow which needs to be addressed. While one can probably argue into infinity about the merits or demerits of such relationships, the fact remains that same sex marriages are a hoax, to say the least. All religions have condemned gay sex and there are strong reasons for it. Critics may plead that to prevent or protest against negative behaviors is an infringement of the individual's right to freedom. But the individual's freedom ends where another individual's freedom begins. The question is: How has the government managed to pass this bill in the face of a conservative society like India's? And secondly, why?

 

Ozma Siddiqui

Riyadh

 

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"May the Satanic conspirers get guidance or they be defeated. They would be defeated. May the Judges understand that sinful homosexual deeds can not be equal with what is the foundation for the continuation of the humanity. These NGOs in the name of preventing AIDs are merely following Satanic developments in this regard in US and Europe where anti-Church communication were denouced first to get approval for illegiitimate sexual relationship between men and women and then when due to subversion of family values, lack of mutual respect for the institution of marrigage, they sought appropriation of sinful homosexual deeds."

 

Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Alam

New Delhi

 

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