Right to Love: India’s Decriminalization of Homosexuality Understood in Light of Contact

New article by LawTransform’s affiliate Vikram Kolmannskog

On September 6, 2018, homosexuality was decriminalized in India. It was the result of a rights mobilization that started almost two decades ago. From the start, Indian lesbian, gay, bi, trans (LGBT) activists tried to influence society and the judges directly, not least through contact with other judges who happened to be gay. This article is a first attempt at understanding the mobilization and decriminalization in light of contact. It is also a first attempt at combining contact theories from both gestalt and the social sciences, including Allport’s (1954) contact hypothesis. It seems quite plausible that contact of a certain kind played an important role in the Indian case. Other social movements could learn from this case. Gestaltists, as contact artists could have much to contribute, especially if they also draw upon social sciences and recognize that status, social identity, and power play a role in contact.

You can request access to the article here.




Photo credits: Steve Johnson via Unsplash