UK INDEPENDENT: Hundreds of gay rights activists marched to the beat of drums in Delhi recently both to celebrate their sexuality and to draw attention to the continuing discrimination India’s LGBT community faces.
Some participants in the annual gay pride parade said the ninth event felt different to past marches because more people have come to accept gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. But others said India’s right-wing government is reversing rights gains by re-instating a law criminalizing ‘homosexual acts.’
In 2009, activists cheered and danced in the street when the New Delhi High Court declared Section 377 of the Penal Code unconstitutional. The colonial era anti-sodomy law, which is vaguely worded but usually interpreted as criminalising various homosexual acts, was written into the law books of dozens of colonies by the British Empire. It still exists today in 42 of 52 British commonwealth nations.
In 2013, the judgment was overturned, making gay sex once again punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Rituparna Borah, an activist, was not very hopeful, saying that the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not supportive of gay rights. “We have yet to have an inclusive society,” she said.