While reversing the ruling of Delhi High Court, Supreme Court relied on Indian culture and history to uphold criminalization of homosexuality. To the contrary, Section 377 of IPC dates back to 1861 when India was under colonial rule and laws were laid down by the British colonial masters. The understanding which informs section 377 and leads to criminalization of homosexuality is based on the holy bible.
According to the bible, sex should be procreation. So when this section calls for penalty against anyone who indulges in ‘carnal intercourse’ which is against the ‘order of the nature’, it actually means sex which is not procreative. Funny as it may sound to our generation which is open about sex, sex according to the tenets of bible was never meant for pleasure.
As with other religions which go by the book, bible is open to interpretation and churches from time to time have gone as far to conclude that contraception of any kind is unnatural. So it is not just anal sex but sex with condoms which is also against the tenets of the bible. The only legal purpose it seems of sex is to have children. The only natural sex is between a man and a woman while creating babies, rest as it goes is unnatural and should actually be illegal but thank the language of the section 377 that sex for pleasure is not prosecuted yet!
The reason why there is a greater emphasis on carnal intercourse and not contraceptives such as condoms while terming homosexuality against the law of the nature is because bible like all other religions accords a great value to the family system. A family consists of a father, mother and children. If homosexuality would not have been prosecuted the way it was during ancient times (India is still in ancient times wink wink), it is feared that men would have settled down with men and population would not have increased. Now with absolutely no regard to individual choice, homosexuality was handed over a blanket ban. Of all the little boxes that are passed on from generation to generation, the idea of men sleeping with women is a popular one.
Pre-colonial India was liberal, even if we don’t scratch the surface; we can use Kamasutra and same-sex couples embracing each other in all those sculptures at Khajuraho to prove our point. But Macaulay, who gave us our education policy, gave us IPC too and Supreme Court needs to go back only a few years to next time term sex with condoms as illegal!