Wendell Rodricks: 'Fearful what the verdict will do to the next generation'
Fashion designer Wendell Rodricks is disappointed with the Supreme Court verdict that has ruled gay sex illegal.
"I've lived my life," he says. "But I am fearful about what it will do to the next generation."
Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya today set aside the Delhi High Court's judgement that had decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults in private, putting India in the company of countries like Uganda, Somalia, Botswana, Libya, Iran, Russia and Pakistan.
India's other neighbour, the tiny Himalayan nation of Nepal, legalised homosexuality in 2008. It is now working towards legalising same-sex marriage.
The two-judge Supreme Court bench also ruled that it was 'up to Parliament to legislate on this issue'.
Among the many who have been outraged by this ruling is fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, who has entered in a civil union relationship with his partner, a French citizen.
I am extremely disappointed with the verdict. It goes against the very notion of a progressive India that we are so keen on projecting to the world.
The thing is, I've lived my life and I've lived it openly. I am fearful what it will do to the next generation.
In a sense, this is telling people of the LGBT community that it is okay to marry for the sake of the society, to have a child with some unsuspecting person and continue your 'nocturnal activities' with whoever you want.
What I fail to understand is why, when a law-enforcing body can take a decision, must it pass it over to the Parliament 'to legislate on the issue'?
The Parliament will take its own time. This issue will drag on till such a time that Parliament takes it upon itself to push the legislation through.
I am most affronted and upset for the next generation that will have larger battles to fight.
While the Parliament decides on the issue though, we must be patient. We must respect the court's decision and fight till we finally get our rights.
Wendell Rodricks is one of India’s finest fashion designers. He is based out Colvale, his ancestral village in Goa and spoke to Abhishek Mande Bhot.
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters