The NGO Arc-en-Ciel has organised a series of activities to raise awareness of their goals as a community. Of their main aims is to legalise s0d0my.
Demonstration of the supporters of homosexuality
The campaign of the NGO Arc-en-Ciel currently unfolding itself in our country has not failed to catch the attention of Mauritians. Not that the latter had any choice since the organisers from Arc-en-Ciel seem to have made it a point for the population not to miss their activities: one of the initiatives of the NGO is to speak their voices out on billboards, with pictures depicting gay couples. They have also taken to the streets, waving banners with slogans like “know your rights”, pertaining to their desire to have the freedom to choose whatever sexual orientation that pleases them.
The campaign is undoubtedly not to the taste of everyone. Most Mauritians still uphold values that have been transferred to them generation after generation. Several groups of Mauritians regard their legacy that dictates that “gay love” is to be forbidden as sacred. However, as certain new ideas have gained more popularity in our modern world, a group of the population has come forth to redefine freedom, firmly encouraging gay couples to come out. The battle of the two categories remains fierce.
On one of the billboards, which perhaps constitute the most eye-catching of all their initiatives, we can see two girls in close physical contact, looking into each other’s eyes, with a message written for all to see: they demand to have the right to love and coexist with all others. On another, two men are sitting side by side, with yet other compelling words, claiming that they are ‘hated because of their right to love’.
Billboard in Rose-Hill. Photo credits: Jameel Peerally
The campaigns began on the 17th of February to end on the 23rd of this month. They are being funded by “Fonds canadien d’initiatives locales” (FCIL).
The steps taken by its members include transmitting their message via the written press, radio stations, and using online means. One of the goals is to rally public opinion. Furthermore, the organisers wish to have the law in their favour as well; they demand the abrogation of Article 250 of the penal code 1838 that prohibits sodomy.
One of the coordinators of the NGO, Pauline Verner, explained that they have as aim to demand that the LGBT community has the right to love each other and express themselves like any other human being.
The words of the individuals belonging to the LGBT group and those of their supporters have stirred rainbow reactions: some believe that they are right for the stance they took, others are personally firmly against it but nevertheless refrain from speaking against the choice of others, and yet others are actively condemning what they consider to be unnatural and hence having no rightful place in our society.
Facebook users have not refrained from sharing their opinions. Can there be any event that is not discussed on popular online social networks?! Apparently, the ‘entertaining’ comments include more outright condemnations than blatant encouragement. Furthermore, public opinion around the abrogation of the law penalising sodomy seems to revolve around the risk of rapists getting away with it because of its legalisation.
Homosexuality has been on Earth for centuries. As we are being propelled forward along the timeline of our world, modern ideas are emerging and people have become more accepting of “Adam & Steve” than the earlier generations. But, the opposing team that has persisted is still as staunch. Time will unfold which will prevail and which will be silenced.