Randy Boissonnault, who is an MP in Alberta, has been named the LGBTQ2 Special Advisor to Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Boissonnault is the first Alberta MP who is openly gay represents Edmonton Centre. India could (and should) learn a thing or two from them. Forget politicians, even common-folk don’t come out and open up for their sexuality as often as they should.
Trudeau had announced him as the Special Advisor on November 15 through a Facebook post saying, “We have made great strides in securing legal rights for the LGBTQ2 community in Canada – but the fight to end discrimination is not over. I’m pleased to announce that MP Randy Boissonnault will work closely with me as Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues.”
Boissonnault will be working towards reforming the laws imposed in the nation on anal sex. According to Canada’s Criminal Code, section 159, it is stated that anal sex is only legal if participants are husband and wife or if both are consenting adults. Any act of anal sex that involves three or more people is a criminal offence. However, the age of consent for sex other than anal is 16.
Back here in India, we’re still struggling to decriminalise homosexuality while Canada had done it way back in the 1960s. Here, all “unnatural” sex is considered a criminal offence under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Gays are subjected hatred and social stigma regarding their sexual orientation.
Canada’s Criminal Code Section 159 imposes restrictions on male same-sex couples as it limits anal sex instead of criminalising it entirely. And now, they’re working towards lifting those restrictions.
According to the prevailing laws, a 16-17 homosexual male year old can indulge in any kind of sexual activity except anal sex. In itself, the law is discriminatory as it prohibits sex for gay males under the age of 18 when for a heterosexual couple, where sex is permitted for youths above 16, there’s no such restriction.
By choosing to listen to people like Baba Ramdev who says, “homosexuality is a disease,” and “yoga can cure it,” we’re only halting our own growth. I don’t believe our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ji, has ever even let out so much as a whisper on the topic. While the Canadian PM is working towards ending discrimination against LGBTQ+ community and bringing forth equality for all of the country’s citizens.
Even Donald Trump, the out and out homophobe, has claimed to be supportive of LGBT rights after being elected President. It is high time that our politicians took a stand for the community which has long been neglected of its basic rights.