New Delhi | Several LGBTQ rights activists have called the survey on same-sex marriage by an RSS body "dangerous and misleading" and accused the organisation of "spreading disinformation".
According to the survey by Samwardhini Nyas, an affiliate of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti (a women's organisation which parallels the RSS), many doctors and allied medical professionals believe that homosexuality is "a disorder" and it will increase further in society if same-sex marriage is legalised.
"Such a study is dangerous and misleading for a society that is unaware. It goes against basic dignity and amounts to defamation. Who are these doctors who have respondents in the survey? Their licences should be cancelled.
"Be it The Yoga Institute which was founded in 1918 or the Indian Psychiatric Society, both have maintained that homosexuality is legitimate and normal, it is natural, inborn and choiceless," said author and advocate for equal rights, Sharif Rangnekar, who also point out how Hinduism is replete with references to homosexuality.
Activist Harish Iyer said that psychiatric bodies from across the world and India have maintained that homosexuality is not an "aberration but a variation". It is beyond any reasonable doubt, he said.
"No religion that claims to be a protector of humanity can also support this labelling of LGBTQIA+ individuals as deviants. It is against the ethos of our nation and also against the very grain of the belief of every religion that is based on the principle of love and acceptance.
"If you believe that your God created all of humankind. Then God made me too. And standing up against LGBTQIA+ individuals is akin to working against the intent of your God. God made me this way," he said.
Iyer also appealed to the government to raise awareness on the issue.
"In keeping with the ruling on the Section 377, the government's responsibility is to create awareness to ensure more acceptance and no misinformation. I would appeal to the government of the day to step in and stand against such blatant disinformation," he said.
Q Manivannan, a queer scholar and PhD candidate, University of St Andrews, too refers to ancient mythology in debunking the results of the survey.
"The RSS forgets, when convenient, that homosexuality is rife in mythology too. Same sex unions of many kinds, companionships and homoeroticism, much like transgender themes, feature in the Ramayana, in the Mahabharata, and the Upanishads," he said.
Activist and CPI-M leader Subhashini Ali also attacked the survey. "It was "idiotic unscientific, inhuman," she tweeted.
The survey has been conducted by the Samwardhini Nyas against the backdrop of a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, hearing arguments on a batch of pleas seeking legal sanction for same-sex marriage.
A senior functionary of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti had said the findings of the survey are based on 318 responses collected across the country covering medical practitioners from eight different pathies of treatment from modern science to Ayurveda.
In their response to the survey, according to Samwardhini Nyas, nearly 70 per cent of the doctors and allied medical professionals stated that "homosexuality is a disorder" while 83 per cent of them "confirmed transmission of sexual disease in homosexual relations."