Friday, 18 January 2013

Foreign Homosexual Couples Barred from Renting Surrogates

Surrogate mother is someone who rents out her womb to carry and give birth to someone else's child. These are used by people who, for whatever reason, cannot (or choose not) bear the child themselves. The idea is not foreign; our ancient Hindu scriptures demonstrates how the idea was conceived eons ago. For example, Balarama (reincarnation of the Snake God, brother of Lord Krishna) miraculously moves from the womb of Devaki to Rohini to avoid being killed by his cruel uncle.

Recently, the Union Home Ministry has issued stringent guidelines regarding visas issued to foreigners seeking to 'rent a womb' in India. Most of the recommendations seem sensible although cumbersome. However, there is another clause that bars homosexual couples from this service.

India has for long discriminated against homosexuality. Up till 2009 it was illegal for two members of the sex to have sexual intercourse under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It was only after the Delhi High Court struck it down citing a direct violation of the fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution that homosexuality was properly recognised. Now a branch of the Government has gone to create another hinderance for people with this sexual orientation. These are new regulations and the fact that our leaders are still thinking along these lines is, while not surprising, irritating.

India moves ahead, our leaders pull us back.

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