On air: Does any country have the right to make homosexuality illegal?

A quick reminder for today, just so we’re clear. 

What we’re discussing: If the majority of a country’s population want homosexuality to be illegal, is it acceptable for that to be the law? Should we respect each country’s right to choose where it stands on this? Or is the freedom to be gay, a human right that is non-negotiable?

What we’re not discussing: Whether you think being gay is acceptable.

gayIndia has legalised homosexuality after almost 150 years. Some of you might find this surprising, especially in a  country that is the biggest democracy in the world. But if the majority of people support it, what’s wrong with a country keeping homosexuality illegal? The judge called the ruling “progressive” but the country is clearly divided and many are raging.  Is there a degree of pressure from the West to accept homosexuality in order to be seen as modern and moving with the times?  No, according to model and Bollywood actress  Celina Jaitly, “being gay is not a western/new concept” and legalising homosexuality does not mean that “you change your own sexual preference”.

In Uganda, the government has refused to bow down to pressure from donors to accept homosexuality. Ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo said

“And I’m telling them, ‘well, if you in your countries you’ve chosen to promote anal sex that is your business but leave us alone.”

In Turkey, a referee has been sacked from his job on the grounds that he failed to complete military service because he is gay. According to this article, he’s blown the whistle on Turkey’s homophobia. What’s wrong with a country being homophobic?

In Lithuania, a gay education ban has been voted in. Homosexuality is tolerated, but parents do not wish for it to be openly discussed it places accessed by youths. 

Here’s a list of countries that ban homosexuality.

Should we not just accept that some countries do not want to be gay friendly?

And just to be clear:

What we’re discussing: If the majority of a country’s population want homosexuality to be illegal, is it acceptable for that to be the law? Should we respect each country’s right to choose where it stands on this? Or is the freedom to be gay, a human right that is non-negotiable?

What we’re not discussing: Whether you think being gay is acceptable.

265 Responses to “On air: Does any country have the right to make homosexuality illegal?”

  1. 1 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 2, 2009 at 10:50

    Acceptance of homosexuality should be a country’s choice.

    I heard one of the persons in the march in India say that heterosexuals also have anal sex therefore they should be banned as well. How ironic.

    Is anal sex right for a woman in a heterosexual relationship but wrong for a man in a homosexual relationship?

    • 2 leti in palma
      July 3, 2009 at 13:42

      Ask any woman (heterosexual) whether SHE thinks anal sex is right…and the
      chances are she won’t…IT HURTS.
      However if men want to do it that way…LET THEM!!

      • 3 Yvonne
        July 3, 2009 at 18:45

        I am heterosexual and feel that anal sex is just as much a declaration of love between two people as any other sexual act performed in one’s bedroom.

        …and it only hurts if done incorrectly.

    • 4 scott
      July 3, 2009 at 18:32

      The legality of homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality so go ahead and criminalize people for doing what they are already doing and will continue doing. I might add this is a ridiculous question to begin with. Should countries make oral sex illegal? Maybe anal sex? What about sexual positions? A more important question is does any law affect behavior? THE ANSWER IS NO! Cocaine and maijuana are illegal here in Portland Oregon and I’m positive if I go downtown right now I could score whatever drug I wanted in about 15 minutes.

      • 5 patti in cape coral
        July 4, 2009 at 05:06

        Make more sexual acts illegal? Bite your tongue, Scott (no pun intended)! Actually, I was wondering the same thing about how relevant the laws really are, as I said before, there are a lot of archaic laws about acceptable and unacceptable sexual acts in the law books of certain states that are absolutely ignored. Also, how would you verify that people were committing these acts?

    • 6 Mangayarkarasi
      July 5, 2009 at 03:05

      Sexuality is none of the government’s business!!! Secularism demands that the law not take into account religious views.
      I say that people are threatened by homosexuals. It is seen to be the worst insult when you call a man a sissy or use other terms to say he is like a woman. I think thats why gay men are threatening to other men. To be like a woman is the ultimate insult to them.

      I hope they legalise gay marriage too, allow them to adopt children. What they do in their bedrooms is none of anyone else’s business!!!

  2. 7 Vishaka
    July 2, 2009 at 11:19

    All democratic countries should accept homosexuality because choosing your own sexual prefernence is a right you were born with, comparable to the right to choose (or not) your own religion.

    Legalising gay marriages does not mean everyone will suddenly want to marry the person from the same sex, I think thats what older generations think. They may tolerate it but still wouldnt allow their children to grow to understand it.

    However,I know a few countries that wont ever legalise homosexuality because it is very much ingrained in their religious preachings and those who are caught in a homosexual relationship get punished in a more severe way.
    I believe it is wrong to be a homophobic country and that is the wrong message to be giving out to their people. Anyway by declaring your country as homophobic isnt going to change anything, those who would want to choose their sexual prefernces will do so anyway. Its not like drugs, that if by putting a law on it you can detain people from using it (not that it is working!, but you get my point)

    Criminalising gay marriages is like criminalising love and marriage between a man & a woman!

    • 8 Sharafadeen A. (Sokoto, Nigeria)
      July 4, 2009 at 17:43

      @Vishaka, will it be right to legalise any things since we are avocating democracy? Things such as robbery, murder, embezlment of public fund etc?

  3. 9 anu_D
    July 2, 2009 at 11:23

    Krupa Thakrar,

    Some countrie legalize homsexuality…others don’t.

    So what’s your point??…or “the point” here ??

  4. 10 Rob (UK)
    July 2, 2009 at 11:35

    This isn’t a matter for cultural relativism. Being gay isn’t ‘good’ in the West and ‘bad’ elsewhere.

    Acceptance of the existence of homosexuality as a naturally occurring phenomenon (which the biological evidence shows is true – the idea that it is unnatural is based on a ‘common sense’ assumption that ignores the facts) demonstrates progressive, and not simply Western, thinking.

  5. 11 Ann
    July 2, 2009 at 12:00


  6. 12 Ramesh, India
    July 2, 2009 at 12:04

    Though, western-influenced demonstrators look to be miniscule in number, there is, reportedly, a big number of gay population in India that refuses to accept and come open with their preferences. For such people de-criminilisation of gay relationships is a non-event because they were never in danger of being prosecuted even before this development. If they come open with their sexual preferences, the danger of them being discriminated in the society is very big. Neither the government nor the laws could help them much in this regard.
    The de-criminalisation just safeguards the gays from being prosecuted but will not broaden the mindset of the general public on gay relationships.

  7. 13 Rashid
    July 2, 2009 at 12:21

    Dear friends,

    My opinion is that, it is not legal to legalise such an anti-nature phenomenon.

    God created man for woman and vice versa. There are of course cases which are unusual, but that doesn’t mean it has to be given such a huge green signal in a country like India. India is a country which is has a great cultural history and has values for family.
    Legalising homosexuality means hurting values of a majority who are not homosexual.

    • 14 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 13:03

      Rashid, Haven’t you come across certain people who are neither men nor women? Why God created them, I just wonder!!!

      • 15 Scott Brown
        July 2, 2009 at 19:43

        I made another reply to Mark, but your statement, for me, is really a question. What about hermaphrodites? I saw a television program about a “man” who was born with both sexual characteristics. I think he had testicles that perhaps had not descended, as well as some sort of vagina. This poor person had gone through many operations trying to “fix” him. The incisions sometimes had become infected and weeped. He took male hormones and was built very well do to lifting weights. What if you had both male and female sexual parts and the attendant hormones, would one’s attractions be very confused?

        Generally I oppose homo-sexual sexual practices because I am a Bible believer and I think to encourage those that seem to have a “bent” that way may lead them into behaviors for which they may suffer very bad consequences in eternity. It may sound unsophisticated and “old world”, but what if the Creator thinks it is an abomination? I just can’t take that chance. Fear? Yes I guess so. But is that a bad thing? If it is thought that that type of fear is a thing which renders one to be considered stupid and unenlightened in this day and age, well I can’t succumb to the current trend in thought.

        I hope compassion enters in to this discussion somewhere though.


      • 16 Mark Breeze
        July 3, 2009 at 13:24

        Scott, I am intrigued by your comments.

        You express a wish that compassion enter into this discussion somewhere but if youscroll up and down the page, you will find that pretty much all the people who are pleased with the news from India are compassionate and all those who have a problem with it are quite the opposite!

        You worry about whether ‘the Creator’ considers homosexuality an abomination. Have you ever considered that maybe if there is a god, it’s not the god of the Bible and perhaps this real god couldn’t care less about the naturally occurring phenomenon of homosexuality but does indeed get very angry at individuals who believe in gods made up by human beings (such as the god of the Bible) a mere few thousand years ago? Have you considered that maybe this god reserves special anger for human beings who attempt to interfere with the happiness of other human beings based on man-made stories of suffering for all eternity after death? There are all kinds of things which a theoretical god might or might not approve or disapprove of. How on earth would you know if you were in his good books. You obviously can’t trust the earthly books written by human beings. Of course, having said that, there really is no need to worry yourself about such matters given there is not a scrap of evidence for any god and that belief in a god is totally irrational.

        You say that you ‘can’t take that chance’ when it comes to engaging in homosexual practices. Forgive me if I’m speaking out of turn, but this rather suggests that you want to and are repressing this desire. If this is the case, then I feel nothing but genuine sympathy and compassion for you that you have been exposed to such a harmful, unnatural and inhuman man-made ideology, which has robbed you of the opportunity of seeing yourself, other human beings, all life and indeed the whole of the universe in their magnificent, natural true colours. I strongly suggest you read the ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins, ‘The End of Faith’ by Sam Harris and ‘Breaking the Spell’ by Daniel Dennett.

    • 17 Ann
      July 2, 2009 at 13:24

      Rashid – you are of course entitled to your opinion, but I would just like to say i have homosexual and lesbian friends and they do not offend my values one bit – and I’m ‘heterosexual'(for what those definitions mean).

    • 18 Mark Breeze
      July 2, 2009 at 15:24

      Rashid, it may be your OPINION that homosexuality is an ‘anti-nature phenomenon’ but as a matter of blindingly obvious FACT, it is a perfectly natural occurrence (and indeed occurs in other species – not that this is important).

      You state that ‘God created man for woman’. I would be intrigued to see your evidence to back up such a statement. I’m assuming you’re not someone who goes around being dogmatic on other topics. It is a fact backed up by undeniable evidence that humans, like all species, have evolved via a blind process of evolution via natural selection. Just because you don’t understand why a phenomenon like homosexuality might arise, and just because it does not encourage reproduction, this does not mean it is unnatural, or ‘anti-nature’ as you put it. Homosexuality is a matter of fact something that naturally exists. There is no evidence, however, that your god exists.

      You are correct that India has an interesting, diverse and rich culturally history. This does not, however, mean that ALL aspects of India’s culturally heritage lend themselves to human happiness and/or dignity and should be perpetuated. Female infanticide and dowry murder are two examples that spring immediately to mind.

      Homosexuality poses no threat to family values. Homosexuals can be and are loving and supportive members of families.

      You argue that legalising homosexuality hurts the ‘values’ of non-homosexuals. I don’t quite see how. I am homosexual and almost all of my friends and family are heterosexual. None of them feel that their ‘values’ have been ‘hurt’ by my legal status. And even if the majority were offended by the idea of homosexuality (and there is no evidence that this is the case), I think that the human rights and emotional, physical and psychological well-being of the homosexual concerned is a little more important than some bigoted people’s ‘values’.

  8. 20 amjad
    July 2, 2009 at 12:25

    well really i feel embarrassed. what progress are you talking about. it is a shame to legalize this obsene act. it is true that no body chooses his desires but we have to control them . to tell the truth it is totally rejeted because it is not natural . anal sex is among the fatal consequences of too much liberty just think of it . is that whole designed for an input . for sure no. i am sure one day there will be fatal consequences on us. remember that all religions abhore this act.may god lead you to the right path.

    • 21 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 13:09

      When there were no religions at all, people were at their fullest liberties. I guess, relgions came into regulate humans to lead lives in an orderly fashion, of course, with some restrictions and rights as well. As we continue to liberalise, we may be heading towards that pre-religious times!! The good thing is we are not as uncivilised and illiterate as those of pre-religion times.

    • 22 Mark Breeze
      July 2, 2009 at 15:47

      Amjad, what is or is not regarded as obscene when it comes to sexual behaviour is clearly completely subjective. If you find homosexual behaviour obscene, this does not represent a problem for you: you don’t have to engage in it or witness it. The judgement in India decriminalised homosexual sex IN PRIVATE, therefore you have nothing to worry about, unless you happen to find yourself entering other people’s bedrooms uninvited.

      In response to your point that homosexuality is ‘not natural’, well what do you suggest it is? Supernatural? Induced by consuming artificial food colourings? Homosexuality is as natural as life itself. Just because you can’t relate to it and don’t understand it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist as a naturally occurring phenomenon.

      In response to your question asking whether a ‘whole’ [sic.] is ‘designed’ for an input, if you avail yourself of a basic education you will learn that human life is evolved, not designed, therefore you can chill out.

      You are ‘sure’ one day there will be ‘fatal consequences’: evidence please?

      ‘All religions abhore this act’, you say. Are you sure? I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of religions in the world that don’t say anything on the matter whatsoever. And even if all religions condemned it universally and vociferously, what would this tell us other than once upon a time human beings used to get very angry about things that we regard as trivial today? Show me some evidence that any religion that ever existed had any divine origin and your comment may become less amusing.

    • 23 Anna
      July 3, 2009 at 18:52

      “it is not natural”.

      Neither is cosmetic surgery, mobile telephones, most medicines, sports shoes…

      Should those be banned too?

    • 24 Chy
      July 4, 2009 at 11:31

      Ramesh, i totally agree with you.

  9. 25 VictorK
    July 2, 2009 at 12:25

    Depends what you mean by ‘accept’.

    De-criminalise it – yes. Promote it, insist that it’s no different from heterosexuality, make gays a privileged victim group: no, no and no.

    In the end, each country should do what’s appropriate for it, and not try to conform to some abstract, universal standard. The Liberal Jihad to impose a certain set of ‘progressive’ prejudices (abortion, gay rights, democracy, diversity, open-borders, anti-faith, etc) on every country in the world has no moral authority. It’s the programme of an elite – as in India with this particular topic.

    And ‘democracy’ is just a form of government. It has no moral content. Things like racial segregation, making homosexuality a capital offence, and concentration camps can all be democratically approved. Voting doesn’t make them right, or wrong.

    • 26 Scott [M]
      July 2, 2009 at 18:32


      Interesting comment.

      If a country votes for the extreme (though appropriate) examples you mention, doesn’t that turn them into something else, that is no longer a true or real democracy. They essentially vote to no longer be a democracy. Doesn’t a democracy require political and/or social equality for all.

  10. 27 steve
    July 2, 2009 at 13:05

    While I think it should be legal, people shouldn’t ignore the health consequences of male homosexuality. By the nature of what they do, produces an EXTREMELY high risk of HIV transmission.

    • 28 Mark Breeze
      July 2, 2009 at 15:51

      Very important point. Hence the need for widespread education on safe sex, both for homosexuals and heterosexuals, something that is sadly lacking in India.

    • 30 Scott [M]
      July 2, 2009 at 21:03


      How do the health consequences relate? What possible (positive) reason could you have for mentioning health in this context? Particularly because you began your comment with “while.” So are you saying we should draw some conclusion about homosexuals by mentioning the health risk? That is what you imply.

      It is terrifying to see the lack of clear thought exercised by some of your most frequent posters: Steve and Anthony, over and over and over again—on almost every topic imaginable.

  11. 31 arjunchitale
    July 2, 2009 at 13:19

    The unthinkable has happened in INDIA, by legalising homosexuality.Apparantly the court has not been sensitive to the fact the INDIA is yet to mature to a level where it can freely adopt practices which grossly contradict religious principle.i dont think that any homosexual will be welcome ,as yet, in a association ,meeting or even a party,In fact this group will risk being osctracised by the community.I personally beleive that homosexuality is against the will of god and unnatural.If it were normal,civilisation such as in INDIA , which can trace their history to 1000’s of years certainly would have brought about amendments in its practices and methods of living,(which over the years have proven themselves to be not only logical but also scientific.).the fact that it was not done so may be due to the fear of spreading and contracting fatal diseases and thereby ensure hygiene.with a legal statusnow,indians will find it extremely difficult to accept this judgement.Surely the mental makeup requires for a revolutionary change and be sure the judgement will come in for extremely heavy opposition .Further 40% of the population is rural with little or no education and where exploitation of lower classes is rampant.there is a scope for misuse here as the victim of sodomy being lower caste will never speak nor get an oppertunity to speak.Plainly INDIA is not yet ready. They exploiters will misuse this so caled lagalation to cover up their misdeeds.Thus before commenting on the legal status a country has to take into account the maturity ,level of education,conservativeness and such other factors.

    • 32 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 15:22

      Reading about the natural theory make me wonder why people consider it bad to have kids out of marriage? Wasn’t it natural to have sex before marriage and yet, why many people oppose it?

    • 34 Mark Breeze
      July 2, 2009 at 16:05

      Ramesh, you claim that if homosexuality was ‘normal’ (whatever that means), then a country like India (which has apparently enjoyed many years of ‘logical’ and ‘scientific’ methods of living), would have accepted it already. However, you then go on to claim that India is not ready for homosexuality citing lack of education across the population, conservativism and lack of maturity! So which is it to be? Is India too advanced a society for homosexuality or is it too backward? You believe that homosexuality is ‘against the will of god and unnatural’. As a matter of fact, homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon which also occurs within other species, so you can disabuse yourself of the latter part of your belief immediately. As far as homosexuality being against the will of god is concerned, have you any evidence for this? Do you have any evidence for the existence of your god? Lack of education indeed!

      • 35 Ramesh, India
        July 2, 2009 at 17:14

        Mark, If I am from India, does it automatically mean that I believe in god? May be you are referring to Arjun’s comment. Why so hurry man even if you had a lot of education!!! lol!!

      • 36 Scott Brown
        July 2, 2009 at 19:21


        In other than the human animal kingdom, does homosexual sex occur? Has it been seen that say two male chimpanzee’s actually have had anal intercourse? Has it been seen that these same two male chimpanzee’s have engaged in masturbating one another?
        Or has it been observed that two males or females prefer the companionship of the same sex, but still engage in the pro-creative act with the other sex?

        I don’t know how two females in the animal kingdom could be seen to be having sex, unless again they have been seen masturbating each other.

        I have had dogs “hump” my leg. I don’t think that is evidence of inter-species sexuality. If the chimps previously mentioned try to mount one another, is that accepted as homosexual behavior?


      • 37 Mark Breeze
        July 3, 2009 at 12:16

        Hey Ramesh,

        Sorry mate, was replying to Arjun!

    • 38 leti in palma
      July 2, 2009 at 16:47

      hemmm… but I seem to recall that Freddy Mercury was Indian?

      • 39 Ramesh, India
        July 2, 2009 at 17:47

        leti, are confused with the term Indian? In India indian means someone from India. But in the west, it refers more to indians from the americas than indians from India! The confusion is reportedly because of Columbus who thought americas as India during his voyages and named those people as indians. I am not so sure about the truth in it. But sounds convincing enough.

  12. 40 Ramesh, India
    July 2, 2009 at 13:42

    Just one clarification. India has not legalised homosexuality yet. It is that the Delhi High Court just gave a judgement de-criminalising it. There were instances of the government amending the constitution to nullify court rulings. It could happen now also if there is a huge backlash from certain groups on the issue.

  13. 41 patti in cape coral
    July 2, 2009 at 14:20

    Congratulations India, a step in the right direction for sure. Should all countries accept homosexuality? Of course. Our sexuality is the most private of matters that should not be regulated by government in the least (consentual sex between adults, that is). Cultural beliefs will take a long time to accept this, if ever, but decriminalizing it is a good start.

  14. 42 Andrew (retired)
    July 2, 2009 at 14:23

    If a country’s laws are based on secular values (read their constitution), then ending the ban on homosexuality ends unequal treatment under the law.

    But if a country’s law is based on religious rules, then it’s for religious bodies to decide.

    Don’t get caught up about the morals of homosexuality, it’s legality depends on whether the country’s laws are secular or religious based.

  15. 43 John in Germany
    July 2, 2009 at 14:44

    Where Homosexuality is practised just for sex, then it should be tolerated but not officially allowed,(sounds funny, but think) If a partnership has been formed, with all the responsibilities that occur in a heterosexual marriage then it should be allowed in any country.
    Of course God created men and women as they are for a purpose,
    What always worried me was the different attitude towards men and women, Lesbianism has always been practise, no problems, or at least not many. Where as Men were condemned, put into prison, and punished for nothing different. Or was it the thought of Anal Sex that made it worse for the men?.
    Many women look to another woman as a partner because of a poor sex life with a man, are they then Lesbian?. Some Hetrosexual women have women partners at times, and so on.

    Have a good weekend
    John in Germany.

  16. 44 patti in cape coral
    July 2, 2009 at 14:55

    I also wanted to mention that anal sex is also practiced among heterosexuals, homosexuals do not have a monopoly on that.

    • 45 John in Germany
      July 5, 2009 at 10:42

      Agreed patti, but in my opinion a perversity in Heterosexuals, and normal for Homosexuals, but certainly the cause of Aids in the Homo population,
      A point you made concerning Sexuality being a private personnel thing, has been de-bunked by some types of media and sadly by some concerned, for example many of the players on Love Parades. Due to the media, and the attitude towards Sex in general it has been dragged down to the lowest niveau, whether Homosexual or Hetro. It is used to sell anything being sold, it is flaunted before our eyes on tv, and follows us throughout our daily dealings.

      John in Germany.

  17. July 2, 2009 at 15:04

    Homosexuality is simply not welcome. There is need for humans to demand for freedom and more freedom, but certain rights will only bring condemnation, i am not the very religious but i find homosexuality rights unacceptable, especially when it is openly demanded.

  18. 47 anu_D
    July 2, 2009 at 15:09

    Ramesh, India
    July 2, 2009 at 13:03
    Rashid, Haven’t you come across certain people who are neither men nor women? Why God created them, I just wonder!!!


    Haven’t you heard of people who have a sexual preference for children ( ie. Paedophiles).

    They are there because god created them also.

    Should we de-criminalize them ?

    what do you think?


    • 48 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 22:24

      anu, In case of gays, they are adults and there is mutual consent in their relationship. Do you see the Paediphiles’ preference to kids in the same line?

      • 49 anu_D
        July 3, 2009 at 10:37


        the onus is on you to answer…..as you proposed the ” why god created them argument ( referring to those that are neither men or women)”

        God ( or nature more approrpriately) has created normal rules…. and then there are anomalies to those rules

        My take–we should NOT accept abnormalities as they are in the name of god’s creations….but must treat them to bring them on course with nature’s rule

    • 50 Pink
      July 2, 2009 at 23:01

      Anu, I totally agree with you. But ours is not a popular opinion.

      People are sarcastically asking what “normal” and “natural” means. Well nature has set in stone that only a male and female human can produce a child and therefore populate the earth and continue the existence of our species…that is NORMAL in my book. Anything else is people fooling themselves and trying to fool others to get what is not natural nor normal to become acceptable.

      A 40 year old man who wants to have sex with 10 year old boys might argue he can’t help his sexual preference either. Soon these types will be fighting for their rights too.

      • 51 Mark Breeze
        July 3, 2009 at 14:38

        Pink, I assume you are referring to comments made by people such as me.

        You are quite correct that only a male and female can produce a child, populate the earth and continue the existence of our species. What has this got to do with whether homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon? You seem to be concluding that because sexual activity between same sex partners cannot result in reproduction, this therefore means that sexual activity between same sex partners is unnatural. Tell me, Pink, have you ever heard of the expression ‘non-sequitur’?

        If your definition of ‘normal’ behaviour within a population is that which is exhibited by the majority of that population, then you are quite correct to regard homosexual behaviour as ‘not normal’. So what? Why does this matter to you? Homosexuality is clearly ‘not normal’ in the sense that the majority of the human population does not practice homosexual behaviour, but this doesn’t mean that it is a rare phenomenon, as any fool can see, and it certainly doesn’t mean that such behaviour is harmful or should not be regarded as ‘acceptable’. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon whether you like it or not!

        As for your association of homosexuality with paedophilia, this is as blatantly illogical as it is boring and predictable. If a 40 year old man feels sexual desire for a 10 year old boy, I would have immense pity for the tragedy of this man’s awful situation. However, it would of course be a total abomination if such a man were to attempt to satisfy his sexual desire, as this would result in the rape of a child.

        If you cannot see the difference between child rape and private consensual sex between adults, Pink, then you really have lost the right to be taken seriously.

      • 52 patti in cape coral
        July 3, 2009 at 15:25

        So if a woman and a man have sex, but use contraception, is that wrong, because what makes the sex “okay” is the fact that they can procreate?

  19. 53 Tom K in Mpls
    July 2, 2009 at 15:53

    Homosexuality is a scientific fact that now seems to be intellectually accepted by all governments. As for forcing any society to legally or morally accept it, that is wrong. It helps to think of governments as individual people without the rule of law and greater personal responsibility. They may know something you don’t. Also since turnabout is fair, do you want them running your life?

  20. 54 John in Salem
    July 2, 2009 at 16:01

    Homophobia is a symptom of insecurity about one’s own sexuality and hiding behind relgious doctrine doesn’t change that.
    Countries that refuse to accept that a percentage of their population is gay are choosing to keep their heads in the sand and their societies stuck in the past.

  21. 55 Sean Meyer
    July 2, 2009 at 16:12

    Ideally, all countries should accept homosexuality. People are born homosexual – it is not a choice. Their are scientific and chemical reasons that determine is someone is homosexual…Homosexuals deserve the same rights and respect as any other person.

  22. 56 Cedric
    July 2, 2009 at 16:24

    I’m firm against homosexuality.

    At the end of the day, homosexuals are people and heterosexuals should treat them with respect as long as they treat heterosexuls with the same respect. However to legalise homosexuality I honestly believe will distort sexuality and could plunge societies into moral degradation.

    Lets not take this path in life.

  23. 57 Anthony
    July 2, 2009 at 16:27

    Accept yes, promoted no.

    Personaly I don’t think it’s a choice or you’re born with it. I think it is a lot of nurture and a little nature.

    @ Sean,

    There has been no proof it’s chemicals, just speculation.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 58 Mark Breeze
      July 2, 2009 at 16:49

      “I think it is a lot of nurture and a little nature”.

      “There has been no proof it’s chemicals, just speculation”.

      And what part of your assertion is not speculation?

      • 59 Scott Brown
        July 2, 2009 at 20:00

        Sorry Mark I screwed up my last reply. What I was trying to say was, that if homosexuality is in part “nature” wouldn’t that mean that there must have been a genetic mutation? But if so then why homosexuality at all? If, and perhaps it is a big if, homosexuals do not procreate then that mutation could not be passed along. Of course I guess that mutation could occur again. Oh well maybe that line of reasoning is faulty.


      • 60 Mark Breeze
        July 3, 2009 at 13:00

        Scott, if homosexuality is genetic then it would have resulted from a genetic mutation at some point in our evolutionary history, as all genetic changes do. I obviously don’t know when this might have occured or why this ‘gene’ would have persisted. Of course, just because we don’t currently understand it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen or can’t have happened. What is undeniable is that homosexuality exists and that it is a natural phenomenon. That is a fact.

  24. 61 Anthony
    July 2, 2009 at 16:29

    @ John in Salem

    Thats not true, it’s like everything else, fear in ignorance, not because you’re having trouble with your own sexuality. All the gay guys I know would always say that, but it’s VERY untrue.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  25. 62 Anthony
    July 2, 2009 at 16:39

    @ steve

    You are VERY correct. A gay friend of mine was telling me about “tea” parties, and one he had just gone to was at a beach. He said there was a bond fire, and that they were drunk and high, and would just take turns behind a big sand hill having sex with eachother until “he was raw” (and I’m talking like 10 guys in a night). I guess this how it is ALL over Los Angeles/Orange County. VERY dangerous on a physical/mental/emotional level.

    In the states they should have a section in sex education class about gay sex and gay sex relationships. I would imagine it would be hard for a gay person to understand heterosexual relationship teachings.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  26. 63 hari
    July 2, 2009 at 16:45

    Great Verdict. Some good hope. Of course, we have many who will continue to oppose it. Indian law needs to stand beyond that. Else we can just run the country by force like a kingdom? And in that case we can always hope that one day we may have a Gay King and everyone will be forced to be so…. LoLz. There is always hope and possibilities. As a gay man in India for 40 years + I know life is wonderful anyways. If straight people will understand gay people I think the society will be happier and so would many families. And the number of unhappy marriages involving closeted gays can be avoided too. Have seen so many friends of mine suffering so. Cannot say who should I blame the gay person who married, their parents, the society or just life?

    • 64 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 17:38

      Hari, I like your boldness. I am more interested in knowing whether the legality would make those closeted gays to get bolder and come out openly expressing their preferences. I already see certain types of people that can not be that bold. For example a bi-sexual woman who has to depend on her husband for financial reasons. I believe bi-sexuals are seen in the same line as homosexuals in India, if not worse! How the legality would help such people. Since they are closeted, legality or illegality don’t change a thing in their lives, I doubt.

  27. 65 leti in palma
    July 2, 2009 at 16:55

    Homosexuality has always existed, regardless of the mores of the times and locations.

    Its got to be a good thing that governments recognise the fact that there’s no point criminalising what is essentially a private act between two consenting adults.
    The sooner its decriminalised , the sooner will gay people be “allowed” to be who they are, which will lead to so many thousands of people coming “out” that almost everybody else will have at least one neighbour, colleague, friend or relative who reveals themselves as gay… and THEN it’ll be difficult for the intolerant to continue being homophobic.

    C’mon, how how increased respect for our fellow humans be bad???

  28. 67 John in Salem
    July 2, 2009 at 17:21

    Fear is a response to a perceived threat. We fear the unknown because it is potentially dangerous but to deal with that fear rationally we have to look at the facts and ask WHAT it is that is being threatened.
    And with homosexuality, after you strip away the religious proscriptions and superstitions that support that fear you’re left with your own naked ego and you then have to ask, “Why does it threaten ME?”.
    If you can come up with some plausible reason other than sexual insecurity the entire industry of psychology awaits…

  29. 68 Venessa
    July 2, 2009 at 17:25

    Wow, how progressive to allow people to live their lives as it is fit for them. I’m really tired of this morality argument too. Morals are subjective, nor do we all subscribe to the same religions if any at all.

    Those of you that fear homosexuality can continue to live in denial. Just because you don’t acknowledge it, discuss it or agree with it does not mean it doesn’t exist or go away.

    • 69 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 18:19

      Vanessa, You are right. But the reality in India a bit twisted. Bi-sexual women are also considered as homosexuals. These women are the most vulnerable as they have to depend on their husbands financial reasons and if they come out of the silent mode, they may face a lot of social problems. I don’t think, the society here is that mature enough to understand those women.

  30. 70 Archibald
    July 2, 2009 at 17:34

    Without a doubt! There is no cogent argument against homosexuality. Furthermore, the fact that homosexuality is still largely seen as unacceptable in many countries is baffling, considering that many of those countries suppress women and promote a male dominated lifestyle. Is it so surprising that there are a lot of homosexuals, no.

    @ Steve “By the nature of what they do, produces an EXTREMELY high risk of HIV transmission”.
    Heterosexuals do the same things Steve, what is the difference?

  31. 71 Andrew (retired)
    July 2, 2009 at 18:01

    Why are people here wasting their time arguing about whether homosexuality is right or wrong? Natural or natural.
    One man’s virtue is another man’s vice.

    This is all about a country’s laws–if they are secular based and the constitution states all are equal, then so be it–sexual equality for all orientations, between legally consenting adults.

    But in a Muslim country which practises shariah law, it is for religious bodies to decide.

    Don’t waste time arguing about rights or wrongs. It’s about legality, legislation and application/interpretation of every country’s constitution.

    • 72 Tom K in Mpls
      July 2, 2009 at 20:28

      Another voice of responsibility and reason! Thank you! Maybe I’ve been to tactful. I know plenty of people that would laugh at the thought of me being tactful.

    • 73 Scott Brown
      July 2, 2009 at 20:57


      I discuss this issue because I believe it will impact ones eternity. I get influenced into behaviors when they are considered “normal”, and I’ve had pulls toward the gay lifestyle as well as certain heterosexual extremes. So I just think that abandoning all sexual taboos is detrimental to people’s souls and also to a society. And it is not just homosexuality. It is selfishness and unethical business practices. It is not caring for the poor and oppressed and for the well being of society in general.

      I admit, I am religious, and am concerned about others ultimate well being, as well as my own. I am concerned about encouraging ourselves into behaviors that tend to engender dis-satisfaction in the Creator.


  32. 74 Denton
    July 2, 2009 at 18:04

    Interesting — but not at all surprising — to see the massive evidence of negative stereotypes among the comments here.

    I am an actual homosexual/gay person, and I am not sexually promiscuous. Neither are any of my friends.

    If you think that ALL gay people are promiscuous and engage in high-risk, dangerous behavior, you are seriously mistaken and likely delusional, owing to your paranoia.

    Not that I have any illusions of changing your minds – many of you who participate in this forum have a serious problem handling reality and the truth!

    Have a great weekend! I’m off to go sailing for the weekend — with both gay and straight friends. Hope that’s all right with you. I realize that many Americans would love to round us up, put us in concentration camps and exterminate us. But we’re not going away – we are a fact of nature.


    • 75 Venessa
      July 2, 2009 at 19:18

      Oh no Denton, aren’t you afraid your straight friends might go out with you and catch some gay? I’ve heard it’s contagious and will cause moral degradation (whatever that’s supposed to mean).

      Seriously, I can’t believe the attitude most people have and their absurd ideas of how “all gay people act.” Isn’t it nice to have other people who have absolutely nothing to do with you or how you live your life think they are the moral authority for your existence? I like to think that someday people will be “progressive” enough to get over themselves and realize that they are not here to dictate how other people live but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  33. 76 Anthony
    July 2, 2009 at 18:27

    @ John in Salem

    You can also say this then:

    People are afraid of Marijuana because they are unsecure about their own enjoyment in life.

    People are afraid or wild lions becasue they are afraid of their own animal instincts.

    People are afraid of Muslims because of their own religous insecurity.

    We are afraid of Iranians because we are insecure about our own freedom.

    Your statment is just as rediculous as these. Maybe there are SOME, but thats a very small majority. It’s fear of the unknown/misunderstanding. I knew many people who were “afraid” of gays because they though that the gay guy was going to try to smack their butt or kiss them.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  34. 77 Archibald
    July 2, 2009 at 18:39

    @ Andrew

    Who’s arguing? Any laws restricting how people live out their personal lives, religious or secular are simply control mechanisms, based largely in hypocrisy, many religious leaders are closet homosexuals as are many in gov’t. It is wrong to discriminate against homosexuals and wrong to legislate homosexuality. Why argue a foregone conclusion?

  35. 78 Scott Brown
    July 2, 2009 at 18:45

    Homosexual relationships exists. I don’t believe though that it should be upheld as good, which is leading to homosexual marriage and legitimating homosexual sexual practices. I don’t think that our Creator accepts those items. I think He dosn’t accept the sexual acts that homosexuals perform. I personally can’t comment on love between the sexes. What exactly is the kind of love He wants? He also dosn’t accept my lusting after women, as well as other of my attitudes. Let’s not deify these sins and try to point people to proper behavior. I hope the sexual sins can be overcome with the help of the Holy

    Thanks for your tolerance.

  36. 79 Andrew (retired)
    July 2, 2009 at 19:00

    For those who live in countries where their laws are based on religious systems, where homosexuality is a crime, that’s their law.

    No right or wrong, it’s just their law.

    People there who feel otherwise, who want to change the law, they have their own lawful procedures, through the legislative process to bring about change.

    • 80 Ramesh, India
      July 2, 2009 at 22:45

      Interesting comment. Philosophers say there is nothing right or wrong in absolute terms which is reflected in what you said. But in case of India there is also a law citing gay relationships unlawful and the court of law there said it is unlawful!!!! It is not the constitutional bodies that changed the law. Do you think the court of law is wrong in this case?


  37. 81 Anthony
    July 2, 2009 at 19:01

    @ Andrew

    Do youknow why things are legal or illegal? Because a group of people decide if it’s right or wrong. We’re doing exactly what law makers do, figure out what’s right or wrong.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 82 Tom K in Mpls
      July 2, 2009 at 20:33

      Well go wherever and make your changes, if they will have you. But for now we are both in another country, buried under about eight layers of procedure, and armed with one vote each. Lets quietly let others lead their own lives.

  38. 83 globalcomedy
    July 2, 2009 at 19:09

    In the States, many conservatives who say being gay is abnormal are either gay themselves. Or, they’re busy cheating on their wives. FYI: Washington D.C. has one of the highest gay populations in the States.

    Whle criminalizing being gay is discrimination, you have to be aware of other cultures as you try to change their views. Otherwise you’ll get the who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are reaction?

    If you take sexual preference out of same-sex marriage, it’s no different than “interracial” marriage. And for Obama to still oppose this (considering he’s a bi-racial person) is astounding to me.

    • 84 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 08:56

      @global comedy – Barry is a politician who’ll be facing re-election in 2012.

      I suspect he’s waiting until he’s been re-elected before showing his true colours.

      Unless he’s intending on having a Chavez-style coup like his mate Manuel Zelaya, the erstwhile President of Honduras, was planning on doing, then he could hold office forever, never revealing any colours, true or false.

  39. 85 Andrew (retired)
    July 2, 2009 at 19:54

    Lawmakers decide what’s right or wrong according to interpretations of current laws, not their personal views of what is right or wrong.

    Likewise with the gay criminalization issue in different countries, look at the constitution of countries which vary accordingly.

    July 2, 2009 at 20:03

    Sex is a private act between consenting mentally sound individuals. Do we need an owners manual from government or social groups to counsult when we want to do it? Oh! I am heterosexual even though how and when we do it is between me and my partner.

    Homosexuality to me is the other. We are products of heterosexuality but if you and your partner want to experiment a bit with anatomy; fine. It is up to you. I have never required a government to rubber stamp it. Her rubber stamp is enough for me.

    I think the inability of some people to perform sex might be the precursor of so much experimentation. May be its a good idea to find out what turns you on. You can consult a chemist if you want them to pimp you.

    July 2, 2009 at 20:21

    On the flip side of this issue, I tend to think that this is another case of shoving a political agenda. People want to know that their sexual orientation is taken into account. This is the largest and increasing number of voters. If you want to be elected as a president or whatever this is a huge constituent voting block. These people are unified and if you mix it with the genda issue, well you can happily go laughing all the way to the office. It also means dancing all the way to the bank. Who would hate such a scenario?

  42. July 2, 2009 at 20:28

    Hi all,
    i am so amused by the barrage of comments in support of homosexuality. What is this world becoming? Just want to know if not in support of homosexuality equates you to a dogmatist. Anyway, God is the final arbiter of man.

  43. 89 anu_D
    July 2, 2009 at 21:46

    Homosexuality ranges between an abnormality and sickness.

    Sick / abnormal cannot be considred criminal…but need to be treated.

  44. 90 Jim Newman
    July 2, 2009 at 21:53

    Hello again
    I don’t think that the laws of any country should invade the private inner intimacy of a person or their right to love whoever they want as they please. Such laws cause horrible and needless suffering. I think that Oscar Wilde expressed this pain and rejection poignantly in his ‘Ballad of Reading Jail’.
    Most religions preach respect and love for others but when laws are made these main ingredients for human harmony are quite often forgotten.

  45. 91 KC
    July 2, 2009 at 22:15

    The line has to be drawn before things get out of hand. Humans and by far most mammals have male and female. These are attracted to each other and thats all there is to it. Why complicate matters by circumventing natural forces. Humans wake up!!!!

  46. 92 Ramesh, India
    July 2, 2009 at 22:56

    Can anyone from California clarify me? I don’t think gay relationships are illegal there, but gay marriages. Am I right? so in India’s case, would de-criminialisation not mean endorsing gay marriages?

    • 93 John (Las Vegas)
      July 3, 2009 at 16:39

      Yes, Ramesh, currently same-sex marriages are prohibited in California.

      As for your second question, that would have to be answered by someone with a knowledge of the Indian decision, Indian legal precedent and constitutional law.

      Anyone have an answer?

  47. 94 Ramesh, India
    July 2, 2009 at 23:11

    When I was in western europe(don’t think, it is a good idea to name the country), I was curious about making friends from a local culture. In that way I made a male friend and we met a couple of times too(yeah, yeah, some of you might be concluding i am gay and hence male friend!). Then one night when I was sleeping, the phone rang but my friend could not speak to me because he was emotionally out of balance. After a few days he emailed me saying that his wife ran away with a woman friend of her. It was a real shock to me because their marriage was more than 15 years old and they have two kids aged over 10. I tried to contact my friend many times. But no avail.
    The reason why I am disclosing the episode is because I have a feeling that if we allow gays to come out openly about their preferences, such bad incidents may be avoided as in my friend’s case. Especially in India’s case where arranged marriages are more common and one would know about his/her partner only after marriage in most cases.

  48. 95 Archibald
    July 2, 2009 at 23:25

    My point is Andrew (retired), that the laws need not exist in the first place, because, they violate the very tenets of the religious societies they come from, “loving thy fellow man or woman”, chief among them. It is like saying that you are pro-life, but, also support war. The issue should be a mute point, but, it obviously is not. Just because someone calls it a law, does not mean that it is valid. We give such power to those who are humans just like ourselves and we allow them to wield it over us because sometimes it is easier not to think. I do not believe that change can only come through the arduous and mostly prohibitive task of going,” through the legislative process to bring about change”. Some laws must simply be disregarded, especially when it addresses personal choice over oneself.

  49. July 2, 2009 at 23:48

    Low income people invest disproportionately large amounts of their available resources and time into their offspring as compared with the “wealthy”. The generic phobia related to “The Gayness” is all about peoples deep seated desire to live forever through their progeny. Gays tend to have few if any offspring, so parents are understandibly reluctant to accept any changes that increase the risk of their high-investment value offspring not reproducing as rapidly and as often as possible. If a cheap immortality serum happened tomorrow a lot of this debate over sex behaviours would become “inoperative” as it wouldn’t matter if you had any offspring at all, and if you did their personal behaviour would not matter either.

    I find these debates over “rights” to behaviour ridiculous. You do what you need to do to survive, i.e. gain access to water, food, and a safe place to sleep; everything else is a luxury/entertainment. ask any Darfur camp resident. Your personal sexual preferences have utterly no utility to anyone else, it is your choice to devote time and resources to them. Reasonably your personal behaviour, if it doesn’t impinge on either national survival or your fellow citizens “right” to be left alone unmolested, should be tolerated. The rub comes from the gap between your personal opinion and the legal system in which you operate. For an electronic forum to suggest that “all Nations should accept whatever” ignores the fact that we do not live in uniform situations.

  50. 97 RightPaddock
    July 3, 2009 at 08:40

    I’m wary of one culture imposing its values on others too strongly in any regard whether be on issues of dress or issues of sexuality, but then I don’t regard the Tower of Babel as a curse but as a blessing.

    I’m surprised that a judge can make such a change, I would have thought it would require legislative process, perhaps an Indian contributor can explain.

    Given special roles that trans-sexuals play in many Indian traditions as musicians and dancers and even healers, and the degree of promiscuity that’s portrayed in Indian art, I wonder if homosexuality might not have been tolerated in pre colonial times.

    But prior to which colonials you may ask, the Murghals or the Brits. If it was the Brits then why did the Indians not scrap the law in ’47, which makes me think that the law the Brits supposedly imposed was, like many others, a codification of existing Murghal practice. So if homosexuality was ever tolerated in India perhaps it was prior to the arrival of the Murghals in 1536.

    Incidentally homosexual acts between consenting adults were made legal in England and Wales in 1967, in Scotland in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982. Until I looked it up I hadn’t realised the Scots took so long in reforming this law, perhaps the flame of The Edinburgh Enlightenment went out to lunch for a while.

    • July 9, 2009 at 06:51

      Well written informative comment.

      India literally wrote the book on sex. They have entire stone temples depicting its myriad variations, so it obviously was of great cultural importance to them. They have maybe 3000 (or a lot more) years of recorded history. Seems unlikely the British (or Murghals!) would have bothered legislating against a behaviour that was non-existant, and equally unlikely that it posed any real threat to India’s well being prior to British Colonization. It is interesting to see the large proportion of foreign nationals in the demonstration march photos; a sceptical person might think that the “low-budget sexual tourism” folks were happy that a threat to themselves had been removed.

  51. 99 NY
    July 3, 2009 at 08:55

    I think homosexuality should be restrained in all countries because of the diseases it brings.
    Giving them more opportunities will result in increasing their number then increasing the number of people who die by AIDS even if they weren’t gays!!
    So let’s think properly! Why letting such people to destroy the life of others!
    I say that depending on what I heard about many incidences of homosexual people who infected others by AIDS while appearing like NORMAL people!! It’s not fair!
    It’s like giving terrorists opportunity to kill others.

    • 100 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 13:33

      @NY – Worldwide the majority of people suffering from HIV/AIDS are heterosexual, I’m thinking about the people in Africa in particular.

      Dead homosexuals tend to not leave many orphans. Dead heterosexuals tend to leave many orphans. There are millions of HIV/AID orphans in Africa, being cared for by grandparents or caring for one another.

      I suspect that “what you heard about many incidences of homosexual people who infected others by AIDS while appearing like NORMAL people” is an urban myth.

      Give us a link to one such instance that’s gone to trial, even better would be a link that documents a conviction of such an incident.

  52. July 3, 2009 at 09:34

    I am very happy for all of the gay people in India!

    No one who truly knows some homosexuals would believe that they should not have full and equal rights no matter in what country they live. People who hold out against them are hung up on religious and cultural hooey.

  53. 102 anu_D
    July 3, 2009 at 10:51

    July 2, 2009 at 23:01

    People are sarcastically asking what “normal” and “natural” means. Well nature has set in stone that only a male and female human can produce a child and therefore populate the earth and continue the existence of our species…that is NORMAL in my book. Anything else is people fooling themselves and trying to fool others to get what is not natural nor normal to become acceptable.


    You are EXACTLY Right.

    There is a defined law of Nature…and then there are anomalies.

    Under the cloak of freedom, rights, equality…the anamolies and abnormalities of nature are trying to get endorsements from the society….which is a dangerous precedence for you know not where to stop.

    One time a foriegn post graduate student in India ( agend about 25) was caught by the resdients of the community trying to have sex with a sheep.
    He was handed over to the police and was fined despite his argument that he owned the sheep, wasn’t causing it as much hurt as people do when killing sheeps for meat….and that having sex with the sheep was his personal prefernce.

    Now under the cloak of freedom, equality, respect for personal prefrences and hearing the argument having sex with a sheep is lesser than killing it ( which is permitted)….should the socienty allow such acts ???

    I am always reminded…unnantural deeds to breed unnatural troubles

  54. July 3, 2009 at 11:03

    of course…i am in total support of it . but sadly we can’t force every country to do so, such as you shouldn’t force anybody to have your own beliefs or believe in God or what not. many times people look at homosexuality from a dogmatic and i dare say male chauvinistic point of view, example – i noticed in that list that most countries (my country Nigeria being an example) are against male homosexuals but prefer female lesbians.
    and that minister that talks about anal specific sex been for homosexuals, i bet he’s a total hypocrite. i know lots of heterosexuals who engage in anal sex, and if he doesnt know, then he’d see it in porn movies, but alas i forget he’s too righteous to watch porn… 😉

  55. 104 Ramesh, India
    July 3, 2009 at 12:02

    well, if you want an answer to my question, you should answer my first question. Why god created those people who are neither male or female! I am aware of what oversmartness means!!

    • 105 anu_D
      July 3, 2009 at 16:02

      Hello Ramesh……you are very clever one and I am not….and you don’t have to answer….I will

      If you attribute the creation of abnormal(like those who are neither men or women) by god as a justification for the abnormal…….

      ….then the same applies to creation of abnormal humans who have a desire to have sex with children and per the news I posted with sheep and goats……that would be also be justifable …per your logic ?

  56. 106 Ramesh, India
    July 3, 2009 at 12:15

    Well, it is quite surprising to see only supporting and opposing arguments on gay relationships. Last night I checked an indian forum to find there are people chossing a somewhat middlepath. According to them Homosexuality is a psychological disorder and the gays need to be counseled. Then I came across a news item on the internet that pentagon has made a secret document in which they termed homosexuality a psychological disorder, where as american psychiatric association stopped endorsing such a opinion long time ago. And the anti-gay groups claimed that the association was under pressure from pro gay lobbies. Can WHYS bring in some unbiased experts with their opinion?

    • 107 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 13:47

      @Ramesh, India – in an earlier post I understood you to say that you did not think Indian society was mature enough to allow the laws outlawing homosexuality to be overturned.

      Indian civilisation is one of the oldest on the planet, you gave us zero, you taught us how to cut diamonds, you were among the first to cultivate crops. So just when are going to grow up, and how will you know when you’re mature enough to overturn a colonial (perhaps British but IMO more likely Murghal) law.

      • 108 Ramesh, India
        July 3, 2009 at 14:19

        I am from the indian society and I know how the society reacts to certain things that you may not know. The de-criminalisation of gay activities is not done by the government nor the (civilised) people here forced it on the government! It is the court of law that felt criminalising gay activities breaches the fundamental rights of gays. How many of the civilised indians would accept that? I am not sure about other countries. In India, the courts can reprimand us if we question the sanity of the judges.
        I guess, civilisation is about finding new things, ways etc like cutting diamonds. But civilised behaviour is different. As a professional, a doctor may be civilised, but if he resorts to abusing his wife, that is surely not a civilised behaviour.

    • 109 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 16:44

      @Rameesh – thanks for answering, tongue was in cheek in previous post, no disrespect intended. And I forgot to mention that you also gave us polo, cucumber sandwiches to have at tiffin, and you play cricket.

      I am still confused regarding the legal standing on this issue, can a single Supreme Court judge in India really overturn a statutory law – doesn’t the Parliament have to repeal the statute to do that? Or is India like the US with a Bill of Rights which an unelected judge can use to trump a written law?

      WRT questioning the sanity of Indian judges and their reprimands, where I live you might be charged with contempt, for which you could spend time in gaol.

      Somewhere I made a point regarding the position that trans-sexuals have in the sub continent (they have a name, I think it starts with H in latinated Hindu) and there’s also the eroticism and promiscuity depicted in Indian art. These lead me to wonder if homo-sexuality was more acceptable in India in earlier times; and its current unacceptability is actually a legacy of the Murghal and/or British colonial period rather than some long standing Indian value.

      Any thoughts on that?

      • 110 Ramesh, India
        July 3, 2009 at 19:29

        I try to be short and precise. In India, any one can move to the court of law(in the form of public interest litigation) questioning the constitutional validity of the government’s actions, laws whatever. Yes, the governments have the option to amend constitution to make their actions legal in case of courts overruling the government’s actions. And it could be followed by another public interest litigation questioning the constitutional validity of the amendment to the constitution!!

      • 111 Ramesh, India
        July 3, 2009 at 19:31

        a bit add on. The constitution is supreme in India and only courts of law can interpret the constitution, not the governments.

  57. 112 Denny and Evie Johnson
    July 3, 2009 at 12:22

    homosexuality is wrong….. after Adam and Eve bit the apple they knew good from evil…….. so does everyone on their offspring…… God said it was wrong. Body not designed to produce children from same sex….so even without the apple…..no reason to think it is normal. But politicians have a hard time to get it right….only thinking about their next vote. America struggles to find it’s way with this present Pelosi/Obama lack of moral leadership.

    • 113 leti in palma
      July 3, 2009 at 14:15

      hello you two, well you must be part of that MORAL majority(you think) who believe that what you believe is ordained by god. You need to wake up….creationists might be trendy in the usa but not anywhere else!!
      and as for Pelosi/Obama…how can you say theres a lack of moral leadership? haven’t you had enough of the Bush gang?

    • 114 John (Las Vegas)
      July 3, 2009 at 17:14

      Sorry, but that’s not the question being debated. God should have no part of this debate as it’s a matter of law — made by men and women. It seems very anti-democratic to base your argument on religion.

  58. 115 robert
    July 3, 2009 at 12:58

    It is a fundamental human right to love whomever you love. To legislate against that is wrong. No country has the right to make you a crminal because of who you love.

  59. 116 Raphael Aderinwale (Nigeria)
    July 3, 2009 at 13:03

    It will not be right for any one to say what others should be doing in thier country. we all have our different ideals and can only advice others to see things our own way. yes i see Homosextuality as being wrong but i can not stand in a possition of a Judge, who knows if i had been broght up the way homosextuals are may be i whould have been one.

    I know what is right for me, but what is right for me might not be seen has right by you, they need conviction not condemnation. If they take it good, if they dont LEAVE THEM ALONE.

  60. 117 Nanci
    July 3, 2009 at 13:05

    This is a classic conundrum in international politics. When does human rights trump state sovereignty, or the right of the states to determine what it does within its borders.

    Homosexuality is becoming more and more framed as a human rights issue, however, I am not aware of any international conventions per se that explicitly enshrines this as a human right in international law, but people correct me if I’m wrong. This is not my particular area of human rights expertise.

    Certainly in the United States where I’m from, gay rights is portrayed as an emancipation movement much in the same guise (fair or not) as the African American Civil Rights Movement.

    You can’t legislate morality one way or another. In order to change the law in individual countries, you first have to change the social norms. Rather than condemn countries who make homosexuality illegal, how can activists inside and outside the country work to transform norms so that homosexuality becomes more socially acceptable.? THis seems to be a more constructive use of energy. Once the social taboos against homosexuality are lessened, the law follows. Law usually follows social change, it doesn’t create it. So in the case of India, social norms have allowed more and more for the acceptance of homosexuality. Therefore, it has been finally made legal.

  61. 118 Bob in Queensland
    July 3, 2009 at 13:24

    A country might just as well pass laws to ban big noses or bald heads. Making homosexuality illegal doesn’t prevent it; it just drives it underground.

    • 119 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 15:02

      Bob – I guess the baldies would wear a hat, and the big noses would dress up as Wilderness Society Koala’s or Greenpeace Polar Bears.

      They might even resort to driving black windowed Volvos, there’s a terrible thought..

  62. 120 Tamatoa
    July 3, 2009 at 13:31

    “Homosexuality” is not a legal concept. It’s a natural phenomenon. One has to define it in legal terms, e.g. only the act of sexual intercourse is sanctioned. In this case homosexual oral sex would be legal. Only then you actually have a chance of legalizing it.
    Cause in the end, heterosexual partners can’t just have sex in public without being arrested either, and “heterosexuality” is legal.

    Therefore I can’t and won’t make a statement about it’s legality.

  63. 121 Dora
    July 3, 2009 at 13:34

    I don’t understand why people are so interested in what two concenting adults do together. Why is it anyone elses business?
    Because god doesn’t like it….well if we look to the bible for inspiration on what laws to make shall we legalise slavery? allow the selling of women? stone people to death for planting different crops in the same field or touching pig skin or maybe kill people for working on the sabbath?#
    As an aside my friend who happens to be gay thinks that the reason for gay people is because the world is over populated.

  64. 122 Roberto
    July 3, 2009 at 13:42

    RE “” Or is the freedom to be gay, a human right that is non-negotiable? “”

    ————– Freedoms and human rights are trampled by the tens of millions daily across the globe, and those the less grievous stories to the hundreds of thousands of lives and limbs lost in egregious acts of violence daily.

    We are all chained to and chained by each other’s actions in a roiling stewpot of competing freedoms and rights.

    One has to wonder about the increasing proliferation of western media gay stories out of proportion to their tiny minority of an estimated 3-7% of the population.

    You guys trying to drop us, the unwashed masses, a hint about something?

    • 123 Nanci
      July 3, 2009 at 13:57

      Roberto, a very astute comment. Some of what the ‘west’ promotes as a universal human rights issue, is really the western agenda for which human right should be at the top of the agenda. One does have to wonder at all the attention this particular issue has been getting in the western media lately. I don’t mind that it gets attention, what I do mind is that the other issues that you allude to get overlooked and pushed aside and neglected at the expense of this one issue.

      In my work on women’s human rights, western women make a big deal about abortion rights (important, but not the only human rights issues out there!) whereas women from poorer less developed countries cite female poverty as their main concern.

      I think depending on where you live, what the most pressing human right issue, does differ.

      • 124 RightPaddock
        July 3, 2009 at 17:17

        @Nanci – I’ve not seen much on the “gay rights issue” of late, perhaps the Land of Oz doesn’t even have a moral majority, let alone a vocal one. I think we allow civil unions in some (maybe all, not sure) states. Our current PM said “no gay marriages on my watch” soon after entering office in late 2007, that’s the last I heard of it.

        I think this decision in the Indian court came as a surprise to many, especially given the reaction of some sections of Indian society to movies such as “Fire”. Also there’s presumably a lot of Indian BBC World Service listeners both inside India and elsewhere.

        At least its a change from Tea Cozys, Burqas and all that:-)

  65. 125 Steve in Boston
    July 3, 2009 at 13:57

    I’m fine with gay men. Less competition for me with the girls. I need all the help I can get.

    • 126 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 14:53

      @Steve in Boston – LOL, I’d never thought of that, I’m beyond help these days so it makes no difference to me now.

      But you reminded me that the best man at my first marriage was gay. I’d forgotten that, the marriage too, probably because it was a disaster, fortunately no offspring.

    • 127 Ramesh, India
      July 3, 2009 at 14:57

      hmm then more lesbians would reduce you chances too? am I right?:)

  66. July 3, 2009 at 13:58

    surprise! as the one true GOD is forced out of the legitimate place it has in the institutions of any state, immorality will fill the void. since prayer and the Bible were taken out of the american public schools, this country has been taken over satan, who has seduced the population to seek lustful ends. this road leads to only one place: death.

    • 129 leti in palma
      July 3, 2009 at 14:40

      sweety, I hate to be the one to tell you: but it doesn’t matter HOW you live your life, you’re STILL gonna die!

  67. 130 VictorK
    July 3, 2009 at 14:03

    This is another front in the Western Liberal Jihad to get the entire world to conform to the prejudices of Manhattan and Hampstead.

    A sovereign country can pass any law it wants, however foolish or mad, subject to its constitution, its values, and what it’s people will and won’t put up with.

    How can a country not have the right to make homosexuality illegal? Is there some supra-national authority to prevent such legislation?

    ‘Homophobia’, like any social phenomenon, can fade – or intensify – as a result of campaigns to influence public opinion. Always assuming that there are a ‘public’ and civil society organisations with the freedom to campaign. Isn’t that why laws against homosexuality are largely to be found in the unfree non-Western world?

    The values, freedoms and spirit of tolerance of the West are unique outgrowths of the Western tradition. It’s futile to expect them, or try to enforce them re gays, in places like Nigeria, Saudi and Iran. Cultures are different. Let’s leave it at that.

    • 131 Nanci
      July 3, 2009 at 14:09

      Well said, Victor. I can’t envision any western country going to war with a country over this issue. Takes humanitarian interventionism to a ridiculous level.

    • 132 John (Las Vegas)
      July 3, 2009 at 17:50

      Vicktor, such assertions of certainty can be comforting in a confusing world. They also obscure some of the vexing questions which we must attempt to answer.

  68. 133 Chedondo, JOHANNESBURG
    July 3, 2009 at 14:11

    Every country has the right to make its laws and if the law making process declares homosexulality to be illegal then it is illegal in that country.
    In some countries it is illegal to drink before you are 21 and in others you cannot vote until you are 16. No country has the right to extend itrs laws
    to other juridictions. To give a concrete example, you will not be prosecuted for possessing hard drugs for personal use in Portugal but you will be arrested
    for doing the same in the UK (or Spain). I heard (on the BBC I think) that in Yemen they mary children as young as 10 – which would be illegal in Europe.

    As another example, the law requiring Saudi women to cover their faces in public does not apply in France.

  69. 134 Ron / Canada
    July 3, 2009 at 14:15

    Some countries have moral law as part of their civil law. In many cases, the Americans still do, but have lost their morals along the way. Their is nothing intrinsically wrong with legislating moral values – it is the foundation of all law. Just because the West have lost their moral guidance, does not make it wrong for the rest of the world. 50 years ago Homosexuality, Adultery, Fornication, and Child Molestation were immoral and illegal acts in the United States. Now all but one are legal… until of course they get their own lobby, have a few parades, and print up some banners.

    • 135 Ramesh, India
      July 3, 2009 at 14:39

      Many presidential candidates in US lost the chance of becoming president because of adultery allegations. But one president was allowed to continue even after him accepting adultery allegations! What an irony!! By the way I am curious to know who lobbied to make adultery legal!!

      • 136 RightPaddock
        July 3, 2009 at 17:45

        @Ramesh, India – It’s easier to keep a blowfly out of the house, than it is to get rid of it, once its in the house.

        Where do you think they were overturned?

        In the US, criminal laws relating to adultery are/were probably mainly State laws not Federal, I would think that many still stand although they are probably not enforced.

        Civil law relating to marriage is also a State matter, so laws on adultery and divorce will operate at the state level too. I think there are a few states that have a “no fault” divorce regime, so they may have repealed any laws regarding using adultery as grounds for divorce. But I think most states would still have adultery as grounds for divorce.

        In some states the criminal adultery laws did not apply to Native Americans, not sure if that’s still true.

        I think adultery is still a court-martial offence in federal military law, not sure that its enforced though.

  70. 137 VictorK
    July 3, 2009 at 14:16

    @Bob: I think driving it underground would count as a result for those who oppose ‘gaiety’.

    @Dora: people are perfectly capable of objecting to homosexuality for non-religious reasons. And religiously speaking, if you live in a theocratic society then that’s a perfectly good reason for forbidding homosexuality.

    The consenting adults argument can only take you so far. Is there really an impermeable screen between private & public behaviour? If someone is a masochist, I can’t help but think that that preference is likely to colour his attitude to human beings, for the worst. Again, torturing animals is something that can be done in complete privacy. But there’s a public interest in it because a society is entitled to enforce civilised standards of behaviour, even in private, & because we know that such behaviour is one of the markers of a future serial killer.

    Private behaviour has a social context and may have wider social implications. Only a decadent society (like Holland) refuses to recognise this and act on it.

    • 138 John (Las Vegas)
      July 3, 2009 at 16:35

      Could you state what those objections are?

    • 139 Dora
      July 3, 2009 at 17:53

      Hang on there torturing animals is not done with the consent of both parties and the leap from consenting love between two people and serial killers is tenuous at best.
      I was merely pointing out that the bible says many things that are not done today, infact are illegal today, also not everybody believes in it so I do not think it is a basis for modern laws IMO.
      Given that this seems to be the main reason for people thinking it should be illegal, that and it’s unnatural’ which the science contradicts, I didn’t understand why this part of the bible is held so dear while other parts considered passe.

      So all that’s left is whether or not the state has a right to leglislate what happens in your private life, who you love and chose to spend you life with and the answer is no.

  71. 140 leti in palma
    July 3, 2009 at 14:34

    A country doesn’t have the right to legislate about who i choose to have a sexual relationship with. De-criminalising homosexuality has GOT to be the way.
    WHEN are the intolerant. conservative and reactionary going to understand that their “opinions” are only that, opinions, and that time and space will eventually come round to the point of view of tolerance. Live and let live.
    Iif the majority hates/fears black people : its OK to be racist?
    Or, just because its convenient to force others to do what we don’t want to do: its OK to accept slavery?
    Or because we as women are considered to be “weaker”: its OK to rape us?

    (And as for those who start to equate paedofilia with being gay,,,go back to school…they are NOT connected folks..!)

  72. 141 RightPaddock
    July 3, 2009 at 14:41

    This can have only come from an EUphilic establishment – its a stupid question.

    There isn’t any global supranational entity that can tell countries what laws they can have and can’t have, that includes the UN. At worse all that happens is the Security Council passes some meaningless resolution. Then providing you don’t really annoy the Americans by flying planes into their buildings or threatening their canals you can more or less carry on regardless. Countries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea, the Apartheid regime in South Africa, Israel and Iran spring to mind.

    The only entity of this kind that exists at the regional level is the EU, I’m hoping it’s propensity to ride roughshod over member countries legal systems will lead to its eventual downfall, so that I can return there to live.

    Maybe Mark Thompson is planning for the day when the BBC becomes the Global Supervisor of Political Correctness – where’s that other planet when you need it!

  73. 142 Linda in Italy
    July 3, 2009 at 14:56

    I think the question “have countries the right to do/not do….” (this that or the other), is a bit of a tricky one, as it depends on how you view the imperative to impose a set of standards based on a universal concept of human rights, and it is people who have rights after all. In reality of course, there is no hope for countries where religions and other cultural constructs decree that there should be limits on what freely consenting adults do (please note, not what adults to do children) with their sex lives, in the former case because of an interpretation of what some imaginary higher being so decrees, in the latter because we’ve “always” banned something, and change threatens the very existence of our culture, as if culture was some sort of dead thing, incapable of evolving.
    There is an amazing lack of logic displayed by those who insist that sex should only be “permitted” when it is “natural”, i.e when there is a chance of pregnancy. That would mean that women past the menopause, men with a low sperm count, or people whose reproductive organs are dysfunctional, be this genetic, the result of illness or surgical intervention, should be banned from sex.
    Maybe, gay sex should be promoted as a way of curtailing the horrific population rise, not aided by all those pious folk procreating in the name of their God: gay sex = eco-friendly, green sex????
    Congrats to all Indian supporters of gay rights, gay, straight or on the fence.

    • 143 Mark Breeze
      July 3, 2009 at 15:18

      Well said Linda. You are breath of fresh air in the midst of some very foul smelling odours that are floating around this message board.

  74. July 3, 2009 at 15:03

    Homosexuality is still seen as a vice in many societies. It is still an insult to call someone, especially a male, a gay.

    Societies still have the right to make homosexuality illegal as long as it is still offensive and an act against established norms. Penalties should be reinforced as a deterrent for at least public display of homosexual leaning.

    At least in Morocco, it is unthinkable that in the foreseeable future gay people will be recognised and enjoying their rights. Every year there are cases of gays thrown in jail once caught. The latest is the sentencing of a gay ring in Marrakesh for the minimum of three years for each of its members.

    • 145 Mark Breeze
      July 3, 2009 at 15:35

      What do you define as ‘public display of homosexual leaning’, Abdelilah? Please enlighten us. I’m intrigued! What exactly should the penalties be? And why do you feel so passionate about defending ‘established norms’? Is that how you determine your own moral outlook on life? Divine the ‘established norm’ and then champion it? Well, it looks like you have a lot to offer human society Abdeliliah!

  75. 146 Kim Johnson
    July 3, 2009 at 15:04

    Yes, they have the right, because homosexuality is illegal, immoral and unethical. Homosexuals are sexually deviated people, they are not the norm, and they will never be. They are immoral, irresponsible people who only care about themselves! What they are doing is wrong and immoral. They should not be allowed in any place, and they should be discriminated against if they want to say of their disgusting behavior. Gay pride should a gay shame, that is what they should do, ashame of themselves. They shoudl be treated of their horrible disease because it is a disease.

    • 147 Mark Breeze
      July 3, 2009 at 15:20

      Hello Kim, would you care to explain to us how you came to reach any of those conclusions? I am willing to bet a substantial amount of money there is some kind of god involved!

    • 148 John (Las Vegas)
      July 3, 2009 at 16:34

      Kim, what about homosexuality do you find so reprehensible?

    • 149 Venessa
      July 3, 2009 at 17:49

      Kim, who elected you the moral authority? Should everyone lead their lives as you do? Are you somehow morally superior? Perhaps you shouldn’t be allowed in any place because of the color of your eyes and the hate you are spouting.

      • 150 Jim Newman
        July 3, 2009 at 20:46

        Hello again
        I think Kim was just winding everybody up. Well done Kim you certainely succeeded.

  76. 151 patti in cape coral
    July 3, 2009 at 15:16

    I guess if a majority of the people in a county wanted to make homosexuality illegal, they could and would, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I wonder in some of these countries, how much the law gets in the way of everyday life. For example, here in Florida there are still some very archaic laws in the books about what sexual acts are illegal. I don’t see anyone getting arrested for them, and unless the people were performing these acts in a public place, I don’t see how anyone could confirm they were being done anyways.

  77. 152 rob z.
    July 3, 2009 at 15:31

    This has realy stirred the pot.
    I believe a sovereign nation has the right to pass laws as it chooses,within it’s territory.If the people of that country support the laws as a united majority,and the laws are forced uppon them by a few power hungry leaders.
    It’s like going to a friends house and the friend asks me to take my shoes off,I will do it out of respect for their home;that does not mean I will expect them to do the same in my home.
    As to the issue of homosexuality…
    I don’t choose to participate in that behavior by my choice.I’m just not atrracted to men.
    To say i’m right and a gay person wrong,is not for a judge to deside.
    Religion has has demonized people who do not fit the mold they made for their followers.And It is religion that has shaped our cultures.
    That brings the arguement down to (GOD vs.MAN);who wins?
    Religion is a set value,we are not.

  78. 153 Krupa Thakrar
    July 3, 2009 at 15:33

    Hi All,

    A lot of the comments we are getting are focussing on the rights and wrongs of homosexuality. That’s not what we are talking about it. We are looking at the right of a country to ban it. Let’s try and concentrate on that.



    • 154 leti in palma
      July 3, 2009 at 15:54

      Fair point Krupa, but its difficult to dissociate them.
      Homosexuality is a fact. Peoples right to be intolerant is also a fact. So if the majority think homosexuality should be banned does this mean that homosexuality is wrong?

      A country’s right to ban homosexuality? It’d be as counterproductive as it was to ban alcohol, or cannabis for that matter.
      Live and let live!

      • 155 Mark Breeze
        July 3, 2009 at 16:56

        Krupa, I sympathise with you wholeheartedly, but since you have approached the general question over whether a nation state has the right to make X illegal through the lens of the specific issue of homosexuality, then it is inevitable that people are going to start discussing homosexuality. And if prejudiced people make inflammatory comments, then these comments need to be and should be challenged.

        The general question of whether a country has the ‘right’ to make anything illegal is a bit of a meaningless question. What is meant by the ‘right’? Nation states can and will pass and maintain whatever laws they choose to within their own legislative and judicial frameworks, irrespective of universal notions of human rights. That is the answer to the question.

        A better question to ask on the topic of homosexuality and the law would be whether making homosexuality illegal can ever be justified. This would actually give people something to discuss!

  79. July 3, 2009 at 16:00

    I believe every nation has the sole sovereignty to take decision that shows the true reflection of the people’s opinions. It will be highly unacceptable for any nation to impose any form of idealism on another in the name of modernity. If western nations deem it fit to embrace homosexuality,that does not in any way imply that all other nations including the under-developed ones should be ‘forced’ to join the fray.The legalisation of homosexuality by any country should be seen as the sole voice of the majority of the people. It is interesting to note that all countries have diverse views of the way they perceive social morality and thus,for instance, what may be seen to be of good standard morals in USA might be extremely abhorred by Ghanaians.

  80. 157 John (Las Vegas)
    July 3, 2009 at 16:32

    What do you mean by “making homosexuality illegal?”

    Is it prohibiting a sexual act?

    Or, is it outlawing a relationship? The current debate in the US is whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, thus have the same legal rights as heterosexuals.

  81. 158 Peter Gizzi UK
    July 3, 2009 at 16:49

    Hi all,
    As I have said on here before I was born homosexual. I was also born Roman Catholic. I had no choice in either. I am now officially non-Catholic (yes it can be done) but can do nothing about being homosexual and do not want to.

    I think a Country has the right to make its own laws. I do feel sorry for those like me who are born into those countries though as their lives must be absolute hell.

  82. 159 Shannon
    July 3, 2009 at 17:02

    Krupa is absolutely right–people are off-topic here. Alas, whenever homosexuality is mentioned people on both sides of the debate often become sanctimonious and/or furious.

    My inclination is to say that no country has the right to legislate sexuality–as long as said sexuality does not harm innocent parties. Sexual acts between CONSENTING ADULTS should be their business, not their government’s. Making homosexuality legal would not harm any religious institution, either. If a particular faith finds homosexuality to be a sin against God, then those followers are free to believe that. Don’t let homosexuals into your church, synagogue, mosque etc…but don’t deny fellow citizens their right to pursue their own happiness within the Civil realm in peace and dignity, without fear of reprisal.

    Of course, this idea doesn’t work in theocracies, which routinely deny civil rights to all who do not adhere to the tenents of the official state religion. This results in absurd statements like President Ahmadinejad’s assertion that there are no homosexuals in Iran, when in fact he himself has had a couple of outed gay Iranian men executed. I suspect he has missed a few others.

    Several who have posted here today mention HIV–as if heterosexual transmission of that disease is not a very real fact for many HIV positive men and women around the world. As Krupa said, we need to stick to the subject at hand.

  83. July 3, 2009 at 17:06

    An extremely contentious issue as countries with deep traditional beliefs would think of the serious repercussions if homosexuality were legalised. Even in the 21st century there is a lot of stigma and opposition to gay behaviour. Straight parents still find it difficult to accept gay tendencies in their children. Society would have to change drastically if gays were to be given pride of place. It is still difficult to contemplate how children could be raised in gay homes. However we should not discriminate against gays. Accept them and respect their choice.

  84. 161 John (Las Vegas)
    July 3, 2009 at 17:08

    What would be the purpose of outlawing or legalizing homosexuality?

    It seems that the question of today’s post raises conflicting purposes of any law: to regulate behavior, to preserve the social order and to reflect the will of the people.

    All these seem to conflict in this issue.

    The comparisions to racist laws, such as prohibiting people of different races to marry or, as in the case of the US, of denying people of African descent their humanity (Dred Scott 1857), offers a useful insight.

  85. 162 mohammedbin ali gaber
    July 3, 2009 at 17:16

    alslam aliukm ..”first we have to understand the meaning of freedom

    then we can talk about anything .

    the homosexuality is some thing which is prohipted by all religions which is exists nowadays and this deed is very bad in any socity in the world so i think it is really good matter to make this thing is illegal .so any thig aganist the humanbeings minds should be prohibtied…

    • 163 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 18:11

      @mohammedbin ali gaber – I think I know where to find the appropriate verses that prohibit homosexuality in the relevant texts for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But I don’t know where the following religions prohibit homosexuality in their texts

      Buddhism prohibits homosexuality? Which Sutra or Sitta?
      Hinduism prohibits homosexuality ? Which Veda, where in the Upanishads?
      Jainism prohibits homosexuality ? Which Agama ?
      Sikhism prohibits homosexuality ? Where in the Shri Guru Granth?

      could you please enlighten me.

  86. 164 Tom K in Mpls
    July 3, 2009 at 17:19

    HEY PEOPLE!!!!! The question is about the rights of countries to form laws as they choose! Why do most of you go off subject and post about homosexuality? In this case homosexuality is simply a currently relevant pretext to pose the question. Is it possible you have no focus? Are you looking for an emotional high?

    National rights are no different from individual rights. Each has the right to do as they choose until it interferes with the rights of another. Live your life and hope you can agree with those around you.

  87. 165 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    July 3, 2009 at 17:20

    Homosexuality exists in all human cultures, whether the culture admits it or not. Homosexual behaviour exists in many diverse species of animals as well

    If a country is run on rigid theocratical principals, as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc., then the government can impose bans on homosexuality (and anything else!) if it wishes.

    In a rational democracy, the majority rules but minorities have rights, too. Sexual activity conducted in private by consenting adults is not anyone’s business except those consenting adults’–not the government’s, not religious authorities’. If a couple wishes to abdicate their right to behave as they see fit in private, by subscribing to religious dictates for example, they have every right to do so.

    But no free society has the right to specify that behaviour that harms no one should be banned. Many people, mostly people of faith, claim that homosexual behaviour is “immoral,” but as there is no objective standard by which one can prove the morality or the lack thereof in homosexual behaviour, it is an empty claim. The argument that homosexuals debase “family values” is equally empty. Having a different view as to what constitutes a family in no way jeopardizes traditional views. As a non-theist, I think it is immoral for people to attempt to dictate behaviour on the basis of subjective, unprovable claims.

    What consenting adults do in privacy is a basic human right.

  88. 166 Fazeela from Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 17:27

    Totally agree with Andrew (retired).

  89. 167 Archibald
    July 3, 2009 at 17:31

    VictorK, your high horse of moral and social insight seems to trod quite heavily on all those who choose to disregard the intricacies of human socialization and simply look beyond that which has been so arbitrarily thrust upon them as acceptable or not, by those who are just ignorant and fearful of their own shadow. Just because you disapprove of social decadence does not mean that it is not the remedy for what ails an all too constricted world full of unnecessary judgement.

  90. 168 Nanci
    July 3, 2009 at 17:41

    Mark Breeze said ‘A better question to ask on the topic of homosexuality and the law would be whether making homosexuality illegal can ever be justified. This would actually give people something to discuss!’

    Amen! Your points are very well made. This is a large part of my frustration sometimes with the BBC HYS. Often the questions are not well-phrased and or are three questions in one, which makes it difficult to have a coherent discussion on anything.

    I would far prefer to dialogue on your question and think it would generate more fruitful discussion

  91. 169 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 17:50

    If homosexuality is a sin then what specific repercussions does homosexuality have on society?

  92. 170 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    July 3, 2009 at 17:50

    @Mark Breeze

    Mark, I always read the “On Air” text and reply before reading the blog, so that my own response isn’t pulled hither and yon by the hurly-burly of the conversation.

    This evening, I could have saved myself the trouble and just written, “ditto,” “ditto,” “ditto” to all your comments.

    There is one point you haven’t yet aced. In the past, before DNA testing and so on, there was a rational reason for locking women up in the harem: the issue of paternity. That reason no longer obtains in modern societies; even so, cultural inertia has prevented women in many parts of the world from being freed from ancient fears of cuckolding.

    So, while there was once a reason for prescribing and proscribing heterosexual contact, there has never been a rational basis for banning homosexuality. The advent of HIV/AIDS at first appeared of offer a reason, but by now the worst affected victims are women whose sexual partners don’t use condoms.

    WHYS likes to stay on point. You and your interlocutors have been all over the board about facts and objectivity, about religion and morality. What say you to the question: Do governments have the right to make homosexuality illegal?

  93. 171 Bob in Queensland
    July 3, 2009 at 17:53

    John(Las Vegas) makes a point I was considering posting.

    When people talk about making homosexuality illegal, what they are REALLY banning is same sex relationships and, in the case of men, anal sex. No law can change a person’s innate sexuality even if you can force them to hide the outward manifestations.

  94. 172 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 17:55

    If we have to be honest about the issue we have to look upon the impact gays have upon society whether negative or positive. We have to ask quetions like. Are gays immoral beasts who terrorise the society and thus bring anarchy to the state or is it that our revulsion for the acts involved in homosexuality are driving our detestation for gays?

  95. 173 Anna
    July 3, 2009 at 17:58

    This comes down to how you define universal human rights, those rights you have regardless of what country you are located in or a citizen of. I believe those rights should include – among others – a freedom to associate with others regardless of their politics/religion/ethnicity/gender, and also privacy. Thus behind closed doors two (or more! or less!) people of whatever gender/class/religion/etc should be able equally to talk about politics, or pray, or engage in sexual relations. It is none of my business what they are doing, assuming none have been forced. Besides, to police such laws surely requires extreme invasion of privacy. Does a whole country, or even a majority, really truly agree to unannounced inspections of their homes at any hour – which is surely the only way such a law could be enforced?

  96. 174 steve/oregon
    July 3, 2009 at 18:03

    India is democratic therefor the majority should rule. Instead of making it a country wide ban, could a system where the states get to hold local elections for there populations that way it may still pass in some areas and other would not pass so gays woud be able to move there and heteros the opposite

    • 175 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 18:37

      @steve/oregon – some sections of the electronic media have misrepresented the facts of the matter, I rather fear its becoming a habit. Here are some facts regarding what happened in New Delhi the other day.

      1. the ruling ONLY applies to the District of New Delhi, New Delhi is very like Washington DC, i.e. its a special district set aside for the federal government

      2. The ruling does NOT apply to all of India

      3. the ruling was not made at the highest judicial level as some have reported

      4. the Federal government has the right of appeal to the full bench of the Indian Supreme Court

      5 Only if the federal government loses its appeal, or it decides not to mount an appeal will it then have to repeal section 377 of the Criminal Code

      I got this info from the NYT at – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/03/world/asia/03india.html

  97. 176 Andrew in Australia
    July 3, 2009 at 18:11

    All other issues aside, When it was illegal I just want to know how on Earth they policed it!

    How any state can police such laws?

  98. 177 Mike in Seattle
    July 3, 2009 at 18:13

    The majority should never, ever had the right to trample on the rights of a minority, especially to the point of outlawing their consenting, adult relationships.

    We would not tolerate a nation that voted in favor of outlawing all Christians, Jews or Muslums. How about making people with red hair or blue eyes illegal? What if a nation votes to institute slavery?

    These are not “western” rights, these are human rights.

  99. July 3, 2009 at 18:14

    Homosexuality is NATURAL! Over 500 species have been well doncumeted having intimate same-sex relations. Check my wikipedia website link.

  100. 179 Halima Brewer
    July 3, 2009 at 18:18

    It would be nice to have a world where the colour of your skin or the definition of your sexuality is not an issue. It is a strange question to ask in a world where the right to clean drinking water is not even considered a responsibility of governments. The issue of sexuality is an artificial one. The range of human sexuality is far, far more than either/or homo/hetero and this weird question of identity based on it. Focusing on suppression of different forms of sexuality is a way governments have of sidestepping real issues, like freedom of access to infrastructure, other health issues, housing issues, and children’s rights.

    Does any government have the right to inhibit any of these? No, but that has no effect on whether they do or not.

  101. 180 Venessa
    July 3, 2009 at 18:18

    Make it illegal; good luck enforcing it. What a joke!

    Wonderful how so many here think they are the moral authority for all. Glad all of you somehow wield the judgement of God and know what your fake sky fairy thinks.

  102. 181 Anna
    July 3, 2009 at 18:21

    If a majority in a country votes to murder everyone who is left-handed, surely that is wrong?

    So the individual’s human rights ARE so important that even a majority cannot take them away.

    We have to ALL abide by universally agreed human rights. (Agreeing them is the hard bit!)

  103. 182 KN
    July 3, 2009 at 18:23

    To the Indian politicians that think homosexuality is not part of our culture- Which culture, from what century, from which religion, are you speaking about? The oldest culture, that which forms Hindu beliefs, does not immoralize gay sex. Where, in the Gita, is homosexuality abnormal?

    Our politicians are pandering to the illiterate masses, rather than educating them on the constitutionality provided equality for all people. The law was overturned because it went against the constitution. Equality is a basic human right, and should be pushed for in all nations.

    • 183 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 19:00

      @KN – my understanding is that the ruling only applies to the New Delhi District and that the government has the right of appeal to the full bench of the Supreme Court, which will take some time – years I suspect

      Why then is everyone carrying on as though Parliament had already repealed section 377 of the Penal Code.

      Perhaps I’m misreading the ruling or misjudging what the federal government is likely to do or overestimating the time an appeal it likely to take.

      You’ve also confirmed what I suspected, the prohibition of homosexuality is a value that India acquired sometime during the 410 years of colonial rule (Mughal 320, British 90). I know the British wrote the Penal Code, but did section 377 reflect their values or did they codify the values previously imposed by the Murghal Empire.

      All clarifications welcome.

  104. 184 Mike in Seattle
    July 3, 2009 at 18:23

    Another perspective:

    An arbitrary group of people living within an arbitrary area does not justify every action that occurs within that area simply because a majority is in favor of it.

  105. 185 CJ McAuley
    July 3, 2009 at 18:23

    There is this thing called the Human Declaration of Human Rights(HDRC), as promoted by the United Nations. Any country that subscribes to said Declaration has finally moved into the 21st century and does not have any right to “ban” homosexuality or make it illegal. If any nation is not following the HDRC, it perfectly acceptable for potential donors of money to refuse to give anything.

  106. 186 A.J.
    July 3, 2009 at 18:23

    Oh my Gawd. Aren’t there so many other much more important issues to address and try to find solutions for? Homosexuality is something that happens not only in human culture, but is observed in the animal world as well. Gays and lesbians create NO threat to society, to “traditional” marriages or relationships or anything else. People, get over your homophobia and fears and live and let live. NO, countries should not attempt to make laws banning or criminalizing gay relationships. It is absurd.

  107. 188 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 18:24

    If European donors are promising more money to poor countries for them to change their laws to be pro-gay then that is blackmail and wrong.

    • 189 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 19:09

      @Deryck/Trinidad — Are you aware of any European political leader either in power, or with a prospect of ever gaining power who has said they will withhold AID unless countries change their laws on this issue.

      If not, then please stop implying that they are contemplating do so. If you have then please post a link to some evidence – no statements from the left or right wing fringes please.

  108. 190 Sofia
    July 3, 2009 at 18:27

    Homosexuality is unnatural. It is not something you legislate on. Human rights you legislate. Sexuality / sexual orientation you do not legislate.

    Sexual intercourse between man and a woman produces a child. What does homosexual intercourse achieve? If the pleasure is the main objective then the premise of that sexual bonding is a farce, and particulary volatile. that aside that kind of union is fruitless.

    Everything in creation reproduces!!!!!!


    • 191 Anna
      July 3, 2009 at 18:45

      Agh! Do you want the use of condoms to be illegal too?!

    • 192 Halima Brewer
      July 3, 2009 at 18:48

      who says it is unnatural? sexuality of humans and even animals has a wide range of expression. It is unnatural to confine behaviour according to artificial or religions limits. It is “unnatural” to fly in planes, to eat cooked food! This is ridiculous.

    • 193 Dora
      July 3, 2009 at 19:12

      @ sofia
      So heterosexuals only indulge in sex acts that make babies… really?

  109. 194 Peter_scliu
    July 3, 2009 at 18:28

    What is all the fuss all about ? Technically gays don’t have sexual intercourse . Adultery and premarital sex is more immoral.

  110. 195 Mike in Seattle
    July 3, 2009 at 18:29

    How can a democracy exist within a nation if some groups of citizens are treated as second class?

    • 196 RightPaddock
      July 3, 2009 at 19:24

      @Mike in Seattle – it follows then from your implied definition there are no democracies, for every country will have people who are not treated equally.

      E.G in some US states Native Americans are not subject to the state criminal laws regarding adultery. It might be argued that in those states that the Settler Americans are being treated as 2nd class citizens because they are forced to comply with a law whilst others are not..

  111. 197 Derek in Vienna
    July 3, 2009 at 18:33

    No society, no “sovereignty” can strip its citizens or subjects of certain rights. One of these is to practice non-harmful, consensual behavior of adults which does not damages the rights of others. (Herein is often a rationale for drug use.) Societies should make laws based on rational thought and objective, scientific observations.

    As I understand it, homosexuality is normal in biological systems of sexual reproduction (rats, dogs, humans, etc.) and the rate of occurrence is somewhere around 5-10%. Perhaps you should have biologists on your program to discuss this. In this sense, homosexuals are not making a choice any more than heterosexuals are.

    At the same time, no group has the right to subject others in the public sphere to indecent behavior. Homosexuals are notorious for this, much to the detriment of the very decent people among their ranks. As an American having lived in SF, USA, and Berlin, Germany, I have been subjected to witnessing gay sex in public as well as substantial nudity. This is a violation of my rights, and a major cause for preventing a reasonable treatment of law abiding homosexuals.

  112. July 3, 2009 at 18:34

    Hi WHYSers!

    An even more exciting conversation!…Jamaica has been roundly condemned as one of, if not ‘the most homophobic places on earth’. I am not sure whether that is true, or whether those who make such remarks do not also have their own agendas for such publicity. Rarely ever mentioned in such reports is that it is not homosexuality which is illegal, as it is the practise of certain homosexual acts, in this case ‘buggery’. This begs the question of whether there is a real distinction to be made between ‘certain homosexual acts’ and homosexuality, itself? And, if so, how do we achieve that? Indeed, using the Jamaican case, I would argue that, the right to choose, insofar as homosexuality has been dubbed by some as a ‘lifestyle choice’ and the laws of a country must be based on negotiation, through the maintenance of respect and the provision of information to all concerned.

  113. 199 Greg
    July 3, 2009 at 18:34

    The fact you are having this discussion in the 21st Century is appalling.

    I am reminded about the old cartoon.
    “They came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not say anything. They came for the Blacks but I was not Black so I kept quiet. Then they came for the Gypsies but I was not a Roma so it was not my problem. They came for the Atheists but I was a church goer so I did not say anything. Then they came for the Catholics but I was a Protestant so I kept quiet. They came for the immigrants and I did not speak out.

    Then they came for me. There was noone left to speak out.

    I am not gay but I have a lot of gay friends and colleagues. They are the same as anyone else and deserve the same rights as anyone else. The bigots and fear mongers, mainly it seems from Africa and Muslim countries, have already shown the kind of world they would prefer.

  114. 200 Bailey
    July 3, 2009 at 18:35

    The idea that majority rule should be upheld at a total disregard for minority rights is appalling. We should respect the opinion of the majority while doing our best to protect the minority from harm. No harm comes to the general population from the legalization of homosexual marriage. No matter what propaganda homophobes and bigots spread, homosexuality is not contagious and detrimental to man kind. What appears to be contagious is hate, which explains why so many congregate to condemn the personal habits of another.

  115. 201 Anna
    July 3, 2009 at 18:36

    If we just substitute the word “homosexuality” with “practice of a minority religion”: “Does any country have the right to make practice of a minority religion illegal?”

    Most people I think will defend other people’s right to practice their minority religion in private, and countries that prohibit the practice are generally reviled. How is this any different?

  116. 202 Chris In Portland
    July 3, 2009 at 18:38

    Human rights? Pointless. The South still misses slavery. Lets all regress and bring it back!

  117. 203 J Goddard in London
    July 3, 2009 at 18:40

    Tell the lady in South Africa that if the world didnot believe in majority rule then South Africa would stiil be ruled by the white minority and she wouldn’t be on the programme today.

  118. July 3, 2009 at 18:41

    Whether ‘Western’ or not, the reality is that, there is a perception that certain countries are under pressure to adopt what has been routinely seen as ‘Western lifestyles’ in which certain representations of sexuality, in this case homosexuality, are to be considered as ‘normal’ and entrenched in law as such. Whereas, I endorse the need for the legal protection of the rights of all citizens in a country, I am very doubtful whether the kinds of pressures traditionally associated with bans and such like, achieve the goals of equality and the promotion of tolerance. Indeed, implicit in that narrative is a view that such countries are intolerant. Nothing could be further from the truth, certainly in the case of Jamaica. Which brings us back to the question of whether people have a right to say no to laws that they feel conflict with their own sense of rightness? The work to achieve a truly sexual democracy is a negotiated process that maintains the self respect of those involved. It cannot be a top-down, or worse yet, externally driven process, mired in judgements and accusations….Just a thought!

  119. 205 Matthew
    July 3, 2009 at 18:41

    This “paster” does not know what he is talking about it is absolutely a civil rights issue and as a gay man I am so thankful to be born in a Civilized country.

    Matt from USA, Utah.

  120. 206 Tom D Ford
    July 3, 2009 at 18:46

    Cui Bono? Who Benefits?

    Who benefits from keeping people divided against each other by preaching the hatred and fear of homosexuals?

    How would they enforce a ban on homosexuality? Through euthanasia? Through deporting them to some country like Israel to give them a homosexual homeland?

    Does any country have the right to make heterosexuality illegal?

    Could any country make blond haired people illegal? Make red haired people illegal? Make short people illegal? Make medium height people illegal?

  121. 207 Sigursteinn Nordfjord - Iceland
    July 3, 2009 at 18:46

    Throughout recorded history, homosexuality has been documented. It was a common practice in ancient Greece, Rome and many,many other societies in history.

    We, as a species, have evolved to have sex for enjoyment along with reproduction.
    Other species are known to engage in homosexual activities: Chimps and dolphins to name two.

    This activity has nothing to do with morality or social norms, it’s in our genes and that’s something that the government has no license to govern over.

  122. 208 Nelly
    July 3, 2009 at 18:47

    The majority is never to be consulted about human rights. In the 60s most Americans agreed Blacks should sit in the back of the bus and be hanged if whistling to a white woman – should that have been left to continue?

    If most of the people in a country agree it is ok to have sexual relations with 6-10 year old girls should that be left legal??? If hypothetically, most people in a country believed in human sacrifice, should we apply the same rule: it is up to them to decide?!? What is the difference? Really none, since we are talking about principles.

    ps: I love the BBC, but please review the policy of this show: you are way to kind to people beating around the bush and who have no understanding about what they are talking about!

    Nelly, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

    • 209 Halima Brewer
      July 4, 2009 at 13:22

      hello Nelly
      the difference is power. It is illegal (and should remain so, I believe) to have sex with someone who either says “no” (rape) or is not empowered to say no. (vulnerable people like children or mentally ill) – it is not consensual sex. When we talk about homosexuality or heterosexuality or bisexuality or ambivalent sexuality, we mean between consensual adults.
      there is a huge difference.

  123. 210 Sofia
    July 3, 2009 at 18:48

    Where laws are put in place to dissuade certain practices it is because there is the human inclination or human will to engage in such behaviours/practices.

    How do you police human sexual behaviour? Will we use or tax funds to have our legislative organisations penalize same sex intercourse? Can you imagine the courts deliberating on the details of sexual act between consenting adults? Who would be the victim? The state?


  124. 211 Kevin/USA
    July 3, 2009 at 18:48

    If one country should have the right to decide whether homosexuality is illegal, why shouldn’t the west have the right to give money for whatever reason they like? It’s a question of sovereignty in both cases.

  125. 212 Sölvi in Reykjavík, Iceland
    July 3, 2009 at 18:48

    I would just like to make one point to all those who say homosexuality should be illegal: How would you feel if somebody said that about heterosexuality? I am heterosexual myself and to me the idea sounds horrible. In my opinion there is no difference between making heterosexuality illegal or making homosexuality illegal. Both are ways of expressing love and should have nothing to do with law.

  126. 213 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    July 3, 2009 at 18:51

    Sexuality is the most private, intimate realm of human behavior. than sexuality. Private voluntary conduct should not be criminalized, because there is no crime. There is no victim.

    Additionally, sexual orientation is not a choice; it is inherent, like race, and as such must not be subject to legalized dictrimination.

    The notion of “majority rule” is especially relevant here. Homosexuals are a minority, and minority rights must be protected against oppression by the majority. Their rights must not be subject to popular vote and the “tyranny of the majority.”

    San Francisco

  127. 214 Daniel
    July 3, 2009 at 18:51

    Should a country be exempt from pressure to grant full human/civil rights to women? Seems no diferent to me.

  128. 215 Tom D Ford
    July 3, 2009 at 18:53

    Let’s get past the idea of respect for countries having rights that trump respect for human rights.

    People are real, and countries are just an artificial creation, just an agreed upon mass hallucination.

    Let’s respect people.

  129. 216 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    July 3, 2009 at 18:53

    Sorry, I meant “The notion of “majority rule” is especially irrelevant here.”

    San Francisco

  130. 217 XavierPDX
    July 3, 2009 at 18:55

    Homosexuality is an issue that should not be as big a deal as prople make it out to be. Why does anyone care who a man or women choose to be with? The are many larger propblems, world hunger, global warming, that need the attention this issue recieves. Those issues are going to be our downfall not if a man loves a man or a women loves a women

  131. 218 Eve in Portland
    July 3, 2009 at 18:55

    It is ironic that certain countries chafe at being controlled by the west in terms of the laws they make to illegalize homosexuality when the west is only offering money to legalize homosexuality. Imagine how the homosexuals in those countries feel. Aren’t they being controlled? Except they are not offered money to not be gay, they are only offered punishment for being who they are. Countries that bully their citizens with legal punishment cannot complain when they are “bullied” with offers of money.

  132. 219 Venessa
    July 3, 2009 at 18:56

    So the majority always gets it right when they ban something? I can think of plenty of laws that have been changed because they were bad.

  133. 220 Ben
    July 3, 2009 at 18:56

    There seems to be a lot of talk about homosexuality being unnatural. Let take a look at the whole history of human kind. Almost everything we do in comparison to natural wildlife, is artificial. Written Language, education systems, automobiles, airplanes are all un natural. How can you base an argument on the sole ideal that makes us human? Isn’t it just as natural for humans to be homosexual as it is to build skyscrappers?

    • 221 Maxine
      July 6, 2009 at 07:51

      Ben, just how wrong can a person get? Check out some of the laws of Physics, that is the science of the natural world. Yes, even flying airplanes is natural. Being a homosexual is not natural so if a country wants to make it illegal because that is what the majority want, then so be it. But who really cares what homosexuals do in their private lives – I certainly don’t.

  134. 222 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 18:57

    I agree with Bailey

  135. 223 Jon (Portland, OR)
    July 3, 2009 at 18:57

    Is homosexuality a fundamental human right? That is the ultimate question, and it is inseperable from moral judgment of the issue. Most people agree that “freedom” is a fundamental human right, but there are actions that we also agree that people should not be free to take part in, such as murder, theft, adultery, etc. Homosexuality is a moral debate. For the most recent centuries it has been largely discouraged because it was seen as being in itself a form of moral taboo and leading to other moral taboos. It is simply an issue that cannot be viewed objectively. Is it perversion or not? The question will always come down to that. This discussion is trying and ultimately failing to dance around the true question. What if the majority wanted slavery to be acceptable? Or murder? Again, all of these come down to the morality of the act.

  136. 224 Mark Breeze
    July 3, 2009 at 18:58

    I am severely disappointed with the BBC for not being more objective throughout this entire program.

    It is an objkective fact that homosexuality is perfectly natural. The presenter has not once corrected anyone who has claimed anything to the contrary.

  137. 225 wassupor
    July 3, 2009 at 18:59

    To the folks who keep saying that homosexuality should be illegal because it is “unnatural,” how do you define unnatural? is it just what would produce a baby? then any sexual activity that wouldn’t produce a baby should be illegal – masturbation, oral sex…. do you really want your government coming into your bedroom to see what YOU”VE been doing?

  138. July 3, 2009 at 19:04

    I am so tired of closed minded people who say homosexuality is unnatural. That frame of mind is closed and usually persuaded by whatever faith they have in a god to segregate and create hatred, fear, and isolation.

    Tell me what is natural about skyscrapers and aircraft carriers? What other species builds those or anything like them. What other species landed on the moon? Every other species on this planet seems content to stay here and live on it without segregating our members of their own race and purposely destroy everything in sight, and homosexual actions and tendancies exist in those species. There are thousands of species whose sexes even change during times of crisis. Yet we destroy on a catastrophic level, pollute our world, kill each other daily, build unnatural items that we throw into landfills, all while standing on a mighty tower and yelling down “homosexuallity is not natural.” What is not natural is how un-human humans are to one another.

  139. 227 radu from canada
    July 3, 2009 at 19:06

    There’s a reason why the term “universal human rights” has the word “universal” in it. Where there are human beings they have certain inherent rights. An adult deciding who they wish to be in a relationship with is their right. It has nothing to do with pastors, church, synagogues, mosques or any other entity. If you agree with the declaration of human rights then you should agree that people have the right to choose how they wish to lead their lives (as long as no one is harmed or injured).

    The idea the culture should decide is absurd as cultures have had unjustified practices in the past but through education and understanding those cultural activities have been altered to include the rights of each man and woman. Women’s rights were culturally seen as non existent at one point too in the Western countries but that has been changed through reason…and the right to be gay, straight, bi etc will hopefully also be acknowledged through the power of reason in the future.

  140. 228 Prem Nizar Hameed
    July 3, 2009 at 19:11

    The wind of change will blow at times. As and when such wind can demolish some outdated rules, regulations, and laws, we should go with the wind for the sake of human liberty. Sex is universal and its restriction in unwanted manner will bring in society its negative impact. As a democrat and secular, I cannot stand against this ruling. Freedom will help enlighten people to choose what is right and what is wrong. Denial of justice always increases the crimes.

    Moreover, India is a country of manifold cultures and languages. Co-existence is the preface of Indian life. If I am fond of fish curry and rice, I don’t force others to have this taste. I must accommodate the people who eat Chappaatti and veg, or Mutton Biriyani and chilly chicken, or Pizza and humburger or fork. Harmonious life is the slogan of 21st century.

  141. 229 Marjorie in Jamaica
    July 3, 2009 at 19:13

    I have been listing to the World have your say of 3 July 2009 and comment as follows.
    Countries (I assume you mean governments) presumably have the right to legislate and ensure practice of the laws of the land and the courts will undoubtedly have to at some time interpret them in accordance with the society of the time. As it relates to the decision of the Court in India, this situation presumably reflects the will of the people, rightly or wrongly, it seems to me that the decision of the country/courts must be upheld.
    Basic human rights I totally agree must be maintained. I think it is inevitable that the world is rapidly becoming a very different place during this century. Today it’s Delhi; tomorrow it will be somewhere else. I think human beings sexual orientation has definitely changed and will continue to change – it will be resisted but I believe even the most homophobic countries in the world are having to face the reality of what could be described as the new age.
    I think that Countries and societies should move one step ahead and concern themselves more with the generations that these “different” unions will inevitably produce. I believe this is what is important now – where grown-ups can chose to do exactly as they like as far as sexual orientation is concerned, in spite of what anyone else thinks; as we know “children live what they learn” what choice will these children have? It is my personal and strong view that if a person chooses a same sex relationship, then they forfeit any right to have children grown within that union. Legislation should be fast forwarding to prevent such travesties.
    Let people be gay, transgender, bisexual and any other description that I am not aware of which is out of the norm, but the issue I see that requires more attention, is that Countries need to urgently address is that of children being brought into the equation as part of the union or the gay marriage.

    Perhaps this could be a topic of discussion for another programme

    Marjorie in Jamaica

  142. 230 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 19:19

    @Mark Breeze

    It’s not Ros’ job to correct anyone. His job is to allow freedom of expression as far as is possibe and make sure that contributors to the program, discuss the topic and are courteous.

    It would be a travesty if Ros should take a postion either for or against the topic on debate, as the program and the presenter will lose all credibility because of bias.

    • 231 Mark Breeze
      July 3, 2009 at 19:43

      It is the responsibility of every BBC presenter to adhere to the Editorial Guidelines of the BBC. I am not asking the presenter to take sides. That would be outrageous. I do expect BBC presenters to challenge unsubstantiated views and to respect accuracy and objectivity.

  143. 232 Harry
    July 3, 2009 at 19:23

    The people should have the right to choose to outlaw homosexuality and things related to that choice of lifestyle. It is not a human rights issue.

  144. 233 Stephen in Portland/Oregon
    July 3, 2009 at 19:48

    “What we’re not discussing: Whether you think being gay is acceptable.”… seems this conversation has digressed…

    Hey you lot, its breakfast time in Portland, Oregon!

    Can we take it as read that we all know as adults what goes on between two consenting Gay males. The logistics of the whole thing are kind of obvious and should not be part of this discussion. So no need and if you don’t know look it up on Wikipedia.

    I am not a prude, but I am in need of my Coco puffs.

  145. 234 Nelly
    July 3, 2009 at 19:49

    Whether homosexuality is natural or not was not the topic of the debate, so Rob would not have been taking sides correcting those people. At least a “this issue is debatable” would have been in order.

  146. 235 Linda
    July 3, 2009 at 20:05

    People are what they are. Can countries ban albinos? Left-handed people? Old people? Anyone with red hair? The rest of the world would be outraged, and rightly so. Yet somehow banning homosexuality is considered a matter for “debate”.

  147. July 3, 2009 at 20:08

    It’s not a ‘lifestyle choice’. It’s just how some people’s sexuality develops, even if they wouldn’t ‘choose’ it…

    • 237 Jon
      July 6, 2009 at 16:41

      Linda, just because “some people’s sexuality develops” into homosexuality doesn’t make it acceptable. “Some people’s sexuality develops” into pedophilia and we outlaw that (with good reason). We do not accept these people as “what they are”. That part of your arguement falls flat.

  148. 238 Mark Breeze
    July 3, 2009 at 20:24

    For anyone who didn’t listen to the World Have Your Say programme on the World Service, I would strongly recommend that you do so (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p003jhl8/World_Have_Your_Say_03_07_2009/). If, like me, you reach the conclusion that the BBC failed to live up to its Editorial Guidelines, then I would urge you to make a complaint by going here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/).

    The amount of unchallenged condemnation of homosexual people on the programme was simply unacceptable. What from the very start was an ill-conceived discussion about countries having the ‘right’ to make homosexuality illegal was dominated by uninformed conversation about whether or not homosexuality is desirable, moral or natural. Despite many outrageous comments by several callers such as associating homosexuality with genital mutilation, claims that homosexuality is an undesirable export of western culture and assertions that homosexuality is unnatural, the presenter made no attempt to challenge these views whatsoever. The BBC has an editorial commitment to protect the vulnerable. If I was an oppressed gay person living in a country where homosexuality was illegal, I would reach the conclusion that the BBC feels no need to challenge hate that it allows to be broadcast on its own airwaves and would be left feeling entirely betrayed. The BBC has a commitment to fairness as well as to being ‘objective and even handed’, but people were not invited to call in to defend themselves against the abuse, only to discuss the ill-conceived official topic.

    It was clear from the comments on this site that the programme was going to contain much hate from callers and the programme makers have no excuse for not being prepared for it. I hope the BBC does not suppress this post and I urge people to complain about this terrible piece of programming.

  149. July 3, 2009 at 20:29

    With whom you fall in love and with whom you have sex with, as long as it’s with another consenting adult, it’s no government’s business. I don’t care if the person is “born that way” or simply chooses to love a person of the same sex: love is love is love.

    I feel sorry for those living in countries ruled by religious principals. How sad it is for those whose very lives are a testament to another truth entirely.

  150. 240 smithcopper
    July 3, 2009 at 21:37

    Whatever …everything is relative…what do we all want? HAPPINESS Your choice is what you choose to do …I think a country should have a right to ban behaviours if it wants to …the people have a right to decide to change the law if they want to …I still think taking the p**p D is deviant behaviour gay/straight …but that’s just like my opinion …I find it interesting what was mentioned about the Pentagon possibly listing homosexuality as a psychological disorder even though it may not be defined as such in medical books …and the angle made earlier about caste issues ….in my experience I have had gay friends at places I stayed and during school that I care about …and my father was gay and died of AIDS …I feel a lot of shame both sides of the fence about his life and death …it’s not my place to judge or sit in the seat of judgment … if you can find someone to trust and love in this world then that should not be a crime as long as they are consenting adults… If you want to be free be free …have integrity with yourself and others …I’m concerned about the spread of AIDS in India …I’m sorry the question was is this a non-negotiable human right? yes, indeed.

  151. 241 brian/CLE
    July 3, 2009 at 21:57

    While I haven’t read through all the comments, what disturbs me is that opponents haven’t distinguished between sexual acts or violence that have a clear victim. The practice of female genital mutilation was equated with homosexuality. Correct me if I’m wrong, but females are not inherently born desiring to have their genitals “circumsized,” rather this is culturally imposed on them.

    In the United States, the Conservative Right-Wing argument is “if we legalize homosexuality, then bestiality and pedophilia are next.” Again, both of those situations have definite victims–young children under the law, and in reality, are vulnerable people.

    There is increasing peer-reviewed, scientific study that supports that sexual orientation is an inherent attribute, the same as skin color or gender. Discriminating against a minority of people who cannot change an inherent attribute violated universal human rights. Replace “homosexual” with “all women,” “all men,” or any ethnic group, and see how well these arguments hold.

  152. July 3, 2009 at 22:02

    No country in world should have the authority to make homosexuality illegal. After all, it was the establishment who caused the problem in the first place. How? By forcing the men to wear pants. It causes the sperm to be overheated. That is where most genetic abnormalities happen. Source: Portland Oregon Journal newspaper from 1966.

  153. 243 Ulric
    July 3, 2009 at 22:03

    This IS a human rights issue. How consenting adults want to interact is no one else’s business, especially not the state’s, and especially as long as there’s no harm involved. This is a personal freedom no one should have a right to interfere with. India’s ban on gay sex was a remnant of colonial rule, not something home-grown. And science is now telling us that more and more indicators point to homosexuality being at least partly genetic, with proven similarities between gay men’s brains and heterosexual women’s, and the reverse. Homosexualtiy has been documented in over 700 species, from birds, to dolfins, to apes. And it looks like the gene is surviving because it is actually beneficial to the human species. STOP telling lies about that, and leave religion and god out of it. FACE THE FACTS. India is proving maturity in kicking out an old Christian aversion to difference. Away with intolerance. Read more on : http://www.newscientist.com/search?doSearch=true&query=Gay+gene

  154. 244 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 3, 2009 at 22:07


    My post about European donors pressuring african countries was a response to the discussion on WHYS today where a caller from Uganda claimed this was being done in his country. Hence in my post I used the large word (IF) because his statements haven’t been proven as fact.

    Indeed research here is warranted!

  155. 245 Eric (USA)
    July 3, 2009 at 22:16

    A mark of progress is that a country has courts which do not allow a majority to persecute a minority based on its innate characteristics or private behavior. India is such a country- Kudos to the High Court! The foolish folks with comments about stuff being “unnatural” who called in to today’s show are why civilized countries need such courts.

  156. 246 globalcomedy
    July 4, 2009 at 05:21

    No they don’t. Because imagine the flipside. If the majority of the population is gay and wanted to make being straight illegal, who would support that?

  157. 247 Emile Barre
    July 4, 2009 at 11:57

    Homosexuality is established as a perfectly legitimate expression of human sexuality as is Bisexuality and Heterosexuality. To ban any of these practices is to violate human rights and is therefore unacceptable.

  158. 248 Curzio
    July 4, 2009 at 14:51

    please remember that just few years ago homosexuality has been considered legal in the UK: don’t you remember Prof. Turing (one of the father of computer science) to be costrainded to choose between jail and horrible hormonal treatments…. or Mr. Oscar Wilde…..

  159. 249 Enver12
    July 4, 2009 at 14:55

    It should be considered an absolute non-negotiable human right that anyone who is capable of making a consensual decision should be allowed to have consensual sexual relations with any other person or persons who are also capable of making a consensual decision.

    The only sexual activity that a government should outlaw is non-consensual sexual activity such as sexual assault. All governments should also actively protect anyone from cultural discrimination or retribution based upon their sexual activity.

    Each person has an absolute right to privacy and a right to their own sexuality; sexual expression and body.

  160. 250 clarence mcmullen
    July 4, 2009 at 15:38

    I believe each country has the right to make laws which are reasonable and just. But who defines that? In some countries POLYGAMY is leagal – but only polygyny, meaning a man can have more than one wivers – but polyandry, when a woman can have more than one husband is not. What should be done about these issues? Homosexuality is there. Should it be tolerated, condoned, accepted or promoted? There is difference between accepting it and promoting it.

  161. 251 Michel Norman
    July 4, 2009 at 20:20

    I have to admit this is why I left the UK – When I was young homosexuality was illegal – when I reached the age of twenty it became legal and so I left before it became compulsory

  162. 252 Aboy calledhate
    July 5, 2009 at 06:56

    Of course we should “respect each country’s right to choose where it stands on this issue and may other issues that we (The US) have decided we should butt in on.

  163. 253 lukas
    July 5, 2009 at 11:52

    being gay, and being a lawyer i have to say that there is a right to have sex as well as a right not to have sex, given to all adults in the Sex Health Declaration proclaimed at least within last 5 years. So if that is a right, not an obligation, anyone who like to can use his/her personal right in the manner which is the most sutible for him or her. what’s more as a young man i have to say, that sex is a freedom. cause you can enter into relations with who you want and when you want. so summing up right to have (not to have) sex is as good right as a right to be free.
    all the best

  164. July 5, 2009 at 17:23

    Dear sir
    If we believe in God then we must also believe in the story of Adam and Eve, who if I remember correctly was created from Adam’s ribs. Obviously God wanted a ‘natural’ relationship so that Man could multiply.
    ‘Lolita’ initiated the concept of homosexuality, lesbianism and of course gays.
    I would partly agree with Harry because:
    * this is extremely unnatural;;
    * no religion as far as I know condones it;
    * this sort of relationship also seeks refuge in marriage and adopting children
    which again doesn’t make any sense. A child born out of a wedlock of the
    opposites makes sense and is a natural thing in God’s eyes.
    So I think there is no question of ‘the right to choose to outlaw homosexuality’.
    It must be outlawed outright because it is an evil. It is unnatural.
    Court ruling in India in this respect is nothing but a license to practice it openly. Until now people did practice but not openly. It had been ‘swept under the carpet’. Now it’s legal but it doesn’t make it lesser of the two evils. This relationship must get a worldwide condemnation!

  165. 255 Mitchell
    July 6, 2009 at 00:32

    The proposition is absurd. Why would governments, or any other institution for that matter, have ANY right whatsoever to tell any human being who he/she can sleep with so long as its consensual and with another adult. Period, full stop as you British say. Any society that does so is retro and backwards.

  166. 256 Rita in Florida
    July 6, 2009 at 04:26

    It completely is a human rights issue, some people just do not understand that because it is not their rights that are being stomped on. Issues like prejudice against gays are gradually changing and I believe , since the world is gradually blending due to internet communication, that gays will eventually be accepted as mixed marriages (white & African American, etc) finally are in America. It just takes too long to convince these mostly-religious prejudiced people to accept logic. No country , majority rule or not, should be allowed to make the minority opinions invalid and try to create a general acceptance that minority people are less important than the majority. I have seen great changes in this country during my lifetime so now i am beginning to believe that the law will eventually update and once it does, the people will gradually realize that their prejudices are all wrong and should not be forced on an entire country. People should not be forced to be religious or to go along with bigoted, prejudiced laws and attitudes. Bigots are welcome to their opinions but it should be on a don’t-force-it-0n-everyone-else basis ! Nobody should have the right to make a law that says only their opinions count. I am not gay but I believe everyone should have equality, in the law and in the community.

  167. 257 Emese Mate
    July 6, 2009 at 04:39

    No, not a single country should interfere by law in people’s personal matters in a supressive matter, except when the force is used to abolish family violence and other types of abusive behaviour.

    I agree with a country legislating homosexual cuoples’ rights to adopt children. Apart from that, it’s every person’s PRIVATE matter what is his/her sexual orientation, and bedroom affairs ARE NOT at all of PUBLIC concern.

    Look what happens in the world, when violence is legalized by law, and when it is not only used, but abused. We can see clearly the results.

    AHIMSA, dear readers and listeners :o)

  168. 258 HEIDI
    July 6, 2009 at 04:47

    Ladies and gentleman,
    Homosexuality is a genetic and biological factor not a choice! If we as the world allow any one country to make homosexuality illegal we might as well allow countries to make having blue eyes illegal. Anyone remember Hitler… he wasn’t just after the Jews people! He wanted a race of blonde haired Blue eyed people… Will we as a world allow that to happen again!

    • 259 Jon
      July 6, 2009 at 15:11

      I’m confused. People are saying homosexuality is acceptable because it is a “genetic” or “biological” factor – not a choice. If so, What about other sexual deviations? I’m sure pedophilia is not a choice – it must have a similar genetic/biological factor, yet we outlaw it (with good reason).

      • 260 Mark Breeze
        July 6, 2009 at 16:39

        Jon, allow me to aid you with your confusion. Homosexual sex between two consenting adults HARMS NO ONE, therefore it is clearly ridiculous for you to have a problem with it. Paedophilia, although of course not a choice, is outlawed because paedophiles seeking to satisfy their sexual desires would end up causing untold harm and suffering to the child victim.

        Do you understand the blindingly obvious difference now?

    • 261 Jon
      July 6, 2009 at 17:50

      Mark Breeze Then why use the argument that “it’s genetic, it’s bioiogical, it’s not a choice” and try to give it some kind of “scientific” imprimatur. Just say it does no one harm. That would be more honest.

  169. 262 patrick Odadi
    July 8, 2009 at 11:23

    Even the things that are so natural the states or countries sometime make illegal, it is right of the country to legalise or to illegase,anything we can ask wethear the country has the right to make homosexuality illegql then who has the right to legalise it or otherwise m it alwqys the state that legalise things that affect the country.
    Homesexuality can never and has never been naturalis cracy behaviour that we have acquired from other cultures

  170. 263 ~Rhoda in the United States
    July 8, 2009 at 15:15

    If that is what the PEOPLE of that country want then so-be-it. If that is what they vote on so-be-it.

  171. 264 William
    July 8, 2009 at 22:34

    The answer to the question set is quite simply yes. If a country has a real live democracy then you have to go with the will of the majority. However, it does depend on democracy being a living entity in that country and not just some thing that is paid lip service to like we have in the UK. Because we have a small number of the political liberal elite that control the political correct culture we would not be allowed to have a serious debate about anything they don’t like. I don’t mean just politicians but other interested partys such as the BBC, amnesty and all the so called human rights left winger do-gooders. They would never allow a free democratic vote on anything like this.

    Anyway, we should live and let live and this is probably one subject the majority of people in the UK would agree is a defunct issue. Homosexuality as no big issue now. Unfortunatly in the eyes of the masses the gay’s are now just the same as the rest of us average joe’s that the government don’t want to listen to.

  172. 265 Danielle in Ohio
    July 9, 2009 at 01:57

    Scott Brown,
    You asked if any animals engage in homosexual behavior. I encourage you to read this months edition of Scientific American’s Mind magazine. You’ll find an article entitled “Bisexual Species” in which the author mentions there are 1,500 species that have been seen partaking in sex with the same gender.

    You asked about chimps in particular – there is a species of primates, the bonobos, in which the males engage in anal sex together and the females often rub their clitoris with each other’s.

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