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By Gaurav Sharma

Slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”: the words of American President Barack Obama reflect a lot on the immense struggle that gay right proponents had to undergo before the landmark judgement to legalize same sex marriage was passed.

A lot of multifaceted complexities envelop same sex marriages. These include a wide array of issues relating to legislation, social and religious views, personal beliefs, civil rights, ethics and morality.

The stigmatic barriers faced by gays and lesbian couples are antithetical to the fact that throughout history same sex unions have thronged in myriad forms; from unsanctioned relationships to informal and highly celebrated unions.

Prevalence in Older times

In the Greek empire, Pederasty, an erotic relationship between adult males and young male teens was socially acknowledged. In fact, the practice was so widespread during the 200 year old Classical Period, that it is sometimes referred to as “the principal cultural model for free relationships between citizens”.

The Roman empire also had its fair share of gay relationships with Emperor Nero celebrating two public weddings with men, once in the role of a woman and the other time as a man.

Similar was the case with China where females would bind themselves in contract to other women and males would enter similar arrangements with other males.

The celebrated Song dynasty tale of Pan Zhang & Wang Zhongxian – a domestic partnership between two males; a beautiful writer and his male student–stands as a testimony that two people of the same sex can love each other the same way a husband loves his wife, thus quashing the “unnatural” contention by the conservatives.

The southern Chinese district of Fujian is well renowned for its homosexual traditions, with Ming writers, extensively covering men of Fujian–who were extremely fond of male beauty.

Backlash

Banning same sex marriage began as early as 340 AD, when Christian emperors Constantius 2 and Constans decreed against such a union.

Almost all religions and philosophies, including the prominent ones of Bible, Talmud and Torah frown upon homosexuality and same sex marriage as practices contrary to nature and “sinful” in the eyes of the Creator.

Such moral denouncements were set in stone through a law known as Theodosian code, thereby outlawing marriage within the same sex and further using a warped logic to hold persons accountable for “famines, earthquakes and pestilence”.


In the Medieval period, the Church used (and continues to use) the Bible as the fundamental text to base the same moral justification.

Some historians, such as Yale historian John Boswell, however contend that the Orthodox Church itself was conducting an early form of religious same sex marriage known by the name of brother-making.

The documents found in the Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova, showing the same sex marriage of two men in 1061, further strengthen such contentions and reveal the hypocrisy of the church.

Current Scenario


The postmodern era has seen the upholding of various types of same sex unions. More than 12 European countries have legalized same sex marriage, with almost the same number of European nations recognizing civil union and allowing for unregistered cohabitation.

More and more countries are following suit, Ireland and USA being the latest ones while Finland is in the process of legalizing.

The definition of marriage has itself become extensive. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines marriage as not only a relationship that exists between a husband and a wife but also as a relationship between two people of the same sex.

The Oxford English dictionary has also revised the definition of the word, dropping gender specifications and instead supplanting them with gender neutral language.

Why the discrimination?

Marriage as a societal concept, confers a host of privileges; from medicare to legal status and property rights, something which is lucidly absent in cases of civil unions and partnership laws.

When gay men and lesbians are denied such basic rights by questioning the legitimacy of their relationships, it automatically amounts to discrimination which relegates them as “second class citizens”.

There are numerous cases where such denial which has led to emotional and physical stress among the same sex couples.

Decades of research conducted by the American Psychological Association and other organizations, has shown that the experiences of same sex couples is the same as other heterogeneous people.

Warped logic


Another illogical argument raised against same sex marriage is that lesbian and gay couples cannot be perfect parents to children. Scientific studies have proven otherwise.

Through adoption, lesbian and gay parents have proved themselves to be as loving and caring as “normal” couples, sometimes taking their affection a notch further by adopting children with special needs and others who might be older and difficult to form a relationship with.

Another conception is that divorce rate among homosexual couples was high and would ultimately lead to destroying families. Again, studies prove such a thought as misleading.

Records on same sex marriages from the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark reveal that the marital dissolution rate has remained constant. Same sex couples cannot be held responsible for the spike in heterosexual divorce rates.

The real reason why same sex couples had to and still undergo such a long struggle before their rights could be recognized in the US and other parts of the world, is the embedded anti-gay prejudice based on preconceived misinformation.

With the world’s leading superpower abolishing the ban on same sex marriage, it remains to be seen if the rest of the world stands up and embraces people belonging to all sexual orientations.



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Photo by Pixabay

Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.


Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough.

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough. It is commonly observed that while many people take their skincare routine seriously, a majority of them neglect to moisturise the body. It is important to keep in mind that timing matters a lot when it comes to applying moisturisers. Therefore, knowing the appropriate time to apply body lotion is essential.

Take a look at the ideal times to moisturise your body shared by Kimi Jain, Head of Retail, KIMRICA.

Morning
Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. The skin is constantly exposed to harsh chemicals and pollutants when you're outside which is why using a protective and soothing moisturiser while going out is necessary. Kimirica's Five Elements Body Lotion comes with natural Aloe Vera extracts that act as a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that helps protect your skin and provide a deep nourishing effect.

man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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