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India: New Delhi pride marches on in defiance of anti-LGBT law

Michelle O'Toole November 30, 2015

New Delhi pride has taken to the streets yet again in clear defiance of section 377 of the Indian penal code that criminalises homosexuality.

Hundreds of revelers, activists and allies took to the streets yesterday to celebrate the gains the LGBT community have made but to also demonstrate against the 165 year old section 377.

This event marked the 8th Queer Delhi Pride march, and the second since the Indian Supreme Court ruled that section 377 should not have been struck down by the courts in 2009.

The organisers released a list of demands in a statement before the event, including legal protections for transgender citizens, the full repeal of section 377 and decisive action in dealing with anti-minority violence.

“…Section 377 remains a blight on our laws,” members of the Delhi Queer Pride Committee said.

“In our everyday lives, too many of us remain fearful of being ourselves in homes, schools, workplaces, hospitals, and the public spaces of our city.”

Indian MP Shashi Tharoor has since expressed his support for the march and revealed that he will be introducing a private members bill to the Indian Parliament that will strike down section 377.

Back in 2009 the High Court of Delhi ruled that section 377 was unconstitutional, but in 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that the decision should be left to legislators instead of the courts.

LGBT equality has been moving forward in the media however, as MTV India recently took the bold move to screen a lesbian romance on their ‘Forbidden fantasy’ anthology series The Big F.

India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley has recently spoken out against section 377, calling for the law to be “reconsidered”.

More: Asia, India, India, New Delhi Pride, Pride, Queer Delhi Pride, section 377

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