“Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven matters?” This is a very powerful quote of James Baldwin, which he wrote in his iconic novel Giovanni’s Room. The statement of James Baldwin is a representation of members of our community. At Rainbow Fellowship, we believe in love and positivity. As a community, we believe that love is not only a very significant part of human life but it is also a very imperative human right. All human beings seek love and acceptance. Love is beyond the material world which cannot be confined to traditional male and female romantic relationships. As a human being, every individual shall be entitled to establish and maintain a romantic relationship with any individual which the individual is attracted to. It is not humanly possible to impose restrictions on love.
At Rainbow Fellowship, we believe that every individual human being shall be entitled to live their lives on their own terms. Similarly, every individual shall be provided an opportunity to maintain and establish a relationship with the one he or she is attracted to. Unfortunately, the members of our community have been deprived of these fundamental rights for ages due to social customs and practices. Traditionally, humans have recognized romantic relationships between male and female only. In novels, screenplays, movies, and other genres of arts, there is a representation of a romantic relationship between opposite genders. Historically, the mainstream media has represented romantic relations between opposite genders only and the romantic relationships between the same sexes have not to gain limelight. The seclusion of a romantic relationship between L.G.B.T.Q communities led to prejudice against them and a romantic relationship between them was not considered normal.
The prejudice and misrepresentation of a romantic relationship between a homosexual couple and people with other sexual orientations have led to serious consequences for the members of our community. The invalidation and rejection of romantic relationships and love between individuals result in negative consequences for the spiritual, physical, and mental health of the individuals. Due to the fear of isolation and rejection, the members of the L.G.B.T.Q community were forced to hide their identities which led to low productivity and had a negative impact on all aspects of their lives. Therefore, the members of our community have been working hard for the legal recognition of their romantic relationship. In society, when a couple is in love with each other and decides to spend the rest of their lives with one another they enter into a valid marriage. This marriage is not only recognized and celebrated by law and society but the law also provides protection to the legal bond. However, if a member of the L.G.B.T.Q community wanted to legalize their romantic relationship and enter into a bond of love then the laws of numerous countries prevent the couple to do.
The efforts of human rights activists and the struggle of members of our community have resulted in the recognition of same-sex marriages in 29 countries. In these countries, members of our community will be entitled to enter into a valid marriage and they will be entitled to the legal protections and privileges granted by law to married couples. This is a very small number but it is considered a very significant achievement. Apart from these 29 countries, the same-sex-marriage is not recognized by other countries. In some countries, the romantic relationship between a same-sex couples is not only illegal but there are very strict punishments for those who are involved in it. In some countries, the punishment for a same-sex romantic relationship is capital punishment. If any individual is accused of a same-sex romantic relationship, and the guilt is proved in a court of law, the law may impose a death penalty. The imposition of capital punishment on a couple who is in love with each other is not only a violation of human rights but it shall be treated as a violation of human dignity.
There are numerous factors that have imposed restrictions on a romantic relationship between a same-sex couples. Some of these factors include traditional practices, prejudice, and religious believes of human beings. One of the most significant factors is the religious beliefs of people. Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Jews, and followers of other religions considered same-sex relationships contrary to their religious beliefs. At Rainbow Fellow, we believe that the message of all religions is love and peace. The relationship between a same-sex couple is the relationship of love, as love cannot be restricted to gender. Therefore, love may not be against anything. In fact, love is the common element between all religions and love is the binding force between all human beings. Therefore, love shall be celebrated as a common ground between all faith communities.
The members of our community have been struggling for a very long time to recognize the right to love. The struggle and hard work of the members of our community have resulted in the legal recognition of same-sex marriages. At Rainbow Fellowship we think that the recognition of same-sex marriages in 29 countries is a very significant development for the protection of rights of members of our community. However, 29 is a very small number. At RFGN we recommend that international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, and other stakeholders shall work in cooperation with governments of different countries. The international community shall play a role to encourage other member states of the United Nations to recognize same-sex marriages and provide protection to a same-sex couple as the protection is granted to a heterosexual couple. Similarly, the international human rights organizations, civil society, and governments of different countries shall work in collaboration with religious authorities to address the misrepresentation and prejudice against the members of our community. At RFGN, we suggest that we all have to join hands to consolidate our efforts and work in collaboration with each other for the realization of our rights including the legalization of same-sex marriage in all the member states of the United Nations. Together we will bring a change.