Sunday, February 24, 2008

Don't ridicule gays, says Bollywood

Feb 07, 2008

Mumbai, (IANS) News of a private gay party in Thane being raided by police has sent shock waves in filmdom. Actors like Celina Jaitley, Manoj Bajpai and Lillete Dubey feel laws pertaining to homosexuality should be revised.

Lillete Dubey: Of course, the laws pertaining to homosexuality should be revised. They are archaic and inhuman. An individual's sexual preference is a completely private matter. It falls under the realm of the law when there's a public display of obscene behaviour. Any such conduct must be equally punishable for straight and gay persons. If gay behaviour offends publicly, the law has every right to react. Otherwise, we're the largest democracy and sexual freedom is our democratic right.

Celina Jaitley: My closest friends are gay and I wouldn't let anyone hurt them. The laws need drastic change. Homosexuality has existed since the invention of civilisation. Some of our greatest artistes today are gay. At this time of HIV and AIDS, gay rights should be our primary concern. In Britain, they've gay marriages. So why are we stuck with their obsolete laws? They left the country long back! Also science proves homosexuality is genetic.

Randeep Hooda: I've lots of gay friends, both male and female. As long as they respect my heterosexual space, I've no problems with their sexuality. As far as the gay party on Saturday night is concerned, if the partygoers were disrupting the neighbourhood's peace then they deserve to be pulled up. Alternative sexuality must not be an excuse for extra rights and privileges. If you want to be equal then fight it out in life just like any of us.

Manoj Bajpai: Yes, the law should be revised. All citizens have the right to decide how they live their lives.

Rohit Roy: I'm not very clear about gay rights and laws in India. But I must say this sort of raid gets us thinking about the priorities of the police. Shouldn't they crack down on elements dangerous to society rather than gays who just want to live in peace?

Nandana Sen: Yes, absolutely! The laws need a change. No one has the right to invade a peaceful private gathering. It's against our democratic principles to treat homosexuality as crime.

Tanushree Dutta: Oh my god! This is ridiculous. The laws need desperate change. Or maybe homosexuality is legal and the cops don't know about it?

Imtiaz Ali: Of course, the laws need to be revised. An act that is natural to some cannot be illegal in a free democracy.

Riya Sen: Everyone in a democracy should enjoy the freedom to do what he or she likes. I think it is uncivilised to question anyone's sexuality. Invasion of privacy is a bigger crime than any. Not just homosexuality, we need to open up our minds against all kinds of prejudice if we want to really go global.

Amrita Arora: Gays have just the same rights as straight people. I party with them and I find them sensitive and dependable. Why single them out to ridicule? High time people stop being judgemental about how others live their lives.

Vipul Shah: Yes, laws need revision. Nobody has the right to decide for others. It's every individual's birthright to decide his or her sexual preference. And nobody has the right to interfere. Unless they were behaving obscenely, the gay partygoers shouldn't have been raided.

Shefali Shah: I don't see why there should be laws against individuals based on their sexual preferences. It's a free world. People are entitled to make their own choices as long as their choices don't hurt anyone.

Samir Soni: I don't think the laws should vary according to sexual orientation. What is unlawful should remain so regardless of whether you are gay or straight.

Mahesh Bhatt: The state has no business to step into people's bedrooms and question their sexual preferences. It's a matter between two consenting adults.

Neil Nitin Mukesh: It's a sensitive subject that needs careful consideration.

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