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The Hindu epics such as the Mahabharata mention several characters who demonstrate a range of sexual orientations and gender identities, including Shikhandi, Chitrangada (wife of Arjuna and mother of Babruvahana), and Brihannala.
Thus, not only do the texts seem to have largely ignored the LGBT phenomenon, rather than persecute them; or positively focused on their abilities, rather than their sexuality or gender.
Imperial rulers held that, as long as they sweltered through the promiscuous proximities of settler societies, ‘native’ viciousness and ‘white’ virtue had to be segregated: the latter praised and protected, the former policed and kept subjected.” Section 377 unfortunately continues to be on the statute books seven decades after Indian independence, and even in 2013, the Indian Supreme Court reversed an earlier Delhi High Court decision that had held section 377 to be unconstitutional, on the grounds that this is a matter for the people and their elected representatives, not the courts.
British leaders of the Victorian era acted against homosexual conduct based on their understanding of the famous Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah holding that homosexuals were, simply by virtue of that conduct, denied entry into heaven.
The exact same punishment of cutting off two fingers (plus a fine of 600 panas of gold) is prescribed for a man who violates a virgin woman just a few verses earlier.
Notably, there is also no such punishment in the case of two older women. Arvind Sharma also points out that if traditional Balinese culture is taken to represent an older and at least a trans-Indian form of Hinduism, the Hindu attitude to homosexuality is one of mild amusement bordering on indifference.