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Parents in India seek ‘corrective rape’ for son after finding out he is gay

Parents in India seek ‘corrective rape’ for son after finding out he is gay

Delhi Queer Pride 2016: LGBTI people in India are calling for the repeal of Section 377

A young man in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, has been subjected to physical abuse and mental torture after his family discovered that he is gay and living with another man.

India Times reports that Sanjoy (not his real name), in his early 20s, lived with his male partner.

His parents were unaware of his sexuality, but when they found out, they hired local thugs to harass and assault him, according to India Times.

India Times were informed of the story by Koninika Roy, an advocacy manager at The Humsafar Trust.

Humsafar Trust is one of the oldest and most respected LGBTI advocacy organizations in India.

Roy said Sanjoy’s family took him to a doctor for ‘treatment’. However, the doctor said there was nothing wrong with him and tried to explain that there was nothing unnatural about homosexuality.

However, the family did not accept this and suggested that ‘corrective rape’ might help him.

There is no indication that any sexual assault took place on the young man.

‘Violence against the LGBTQ community is extremely common in India. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the fact that same sex behavior is criminalized in the country means that homosexuals cannot live freely,’ said Roy.

‘The story of this gay couple is just one of the examples of how the LGBTQ community is treated in India.’

‘The pain is real, the hardships loom large’

Approached for further comment, Roy provided GSN with a statement from the couple, who declined to provide identifying details. The the trouble began last year during Diwali.

They couple said that they did ‘not wish to play the victim card’, but that ‘family honor crimes’ can have a deep impact on the lives of LGBT people.

Sanjoy’s partner said: ‘The pain is real, the hardships loom large, the tears are red and at times you feel low enough not to live or breath anymore because there doesn’t feel a point in doing so.’

He said that although the family succeeded in keeping the couple apart for a few days, they were now back together.

‘Love kept us strong and our mental strength added to the fuel of won’t-be-giving up attitude … We are living together as for now, with nothing but each other.’

Homophobic attitudes remain deeply embedded within many sections of Indian society.

In 2013, the country re-criminalized any sexual activity regarded as ‘non-traditional’ when it re-adopted Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The law dates back to the country’s Colonial times as part of the British Empire.

Last February, the Supreme Court referred the law to a five-member bench for consideration. Equality advocates are awaiting the court’s hearing of a curative petition filed by the NGO Naz Foundation calling for the law to be overturned.

Koninika Roy told GSN that it is not yet known when the hearing will take place, and the court is likely to give just a day’s warning of the petition being heard.