Religion & The Law: "The Third Gender"

I have never come across (so far) across any religion or sect and its relationship with homosexuals, bisexuals and the transgendered etc till I chanced upon a website of GALVA (The Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Inc). The website provides "information and support to GLBTI Vaishnavas and Hindus" [The Vaishnavas are a sect of Hinduism]

The GALVA website says, "This website is provided by the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association, an international organization dedicated to the teachings of Lord Caitanya, the importance of all-inclusiveness within His mission, and the Vedic concept of a natural third gender. Its purpose is to educate Vaishnavas, Hindus and the public in general about the "third sex" as described in Vedic literatures. This knowledge will help to correct many of the common misconceptions that people hold today concerning third-gender people (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, the intersexed, etc.). In addition to this, GALVA wishes to provide a friendly and positive-oriented place where third-gender devotees and guests can associate together and utilize their time to learn more about Krsna consciousness and advance in spiritual life."

To me it has been an eye-opener, and I am amazed that there is a religious sect that is so inclusive.


On the other hand, Indian law (section 377, Indian Penal Code) terms homosexuality an offence "against the order of nature" which carries a penalty of a minimum of ten years in jail, and which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Section 377: Unnatural offences.--Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.


India is currently debating whether homosexuality should no more be an offence, and if decriminalizing homosexuality will help in the fight against AIDS.

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