India LGBT activists Hindustan Times | Getty Images

Contra la homofobia oficial en la India

NUEVA DELHI – Sesenta y seis años después de adoptar una de las constituciones más liberales del mundo, la India está conmocionada por un acalorado debate sobre una cláusula de su código penal (artículo 377), que data de la era colonial y criminaliza a todo “aquel que voluntariamente tenga contactos carnales en contra del orden de la naturaleza con cualquier hombre, mujer o animal”. Aunque no se la aplica muy a menudo (el año pasado hubo 578 arrestos según esta cláusula), la ley es una herramienta para el hostigamiento, la persecución y el chantaje de las minorías sexuales en la India. Y debe ser cambiada.

Además de obligar a millones de hombres y mujeres homosexuales a vivir temerosos y en el anonimato, el artículo 377 obstaculiza las campañas de prevención del VIH y es un factor de depresión y suicidio. Un estudio realizado en 2014 por el Banco Mundial reveló que la homofobia provoca en la India una pérdida de entre 0,1% y 1,7% de su PIB.

No es una cuestión de sexo, sino de libertad. Al dar al Estado autoridad para controlar lo que hacen los adultos indios, de mutuo acuerdo, en sus dormitorios, el artículo 377 viola los derechos constitucionales a la dignidad, la privacidad y la igualdad, consagrados en los artículos 14, 15 y 21, respectivamente. Como señaló el premio Nobel Amartya Sen: “La criminalización de la conducta homosexual no solo va en contra de derechos humanos fundamentales, sino que también es un claro obstáculo contra la mejora en materia de libertades sobre cuya base puede juzgarse el avance de la civilización”.

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