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Film and TV

Indian film star insists she’s ‘not homophobic’ after claiming same-sex parents put their children’s ‘human rights’ at risk

Lily Wakefield December 30, 2020
Nishigandha Wad

Nishigandha Wad made the anti-LGBT+ comments in an interview with fellow actor Sulekha Talwalkar. (YouTube/ Sulekha Talwalkar)

Indian film star Nishigandha Wad has claimed she is “not homophobic” after promoting conversion therapy and saying same-sex parents put their children’s “human rights” at risk.

Wad is a popular Marathi film actor who has starred in more than 160 films and TV series, and written nine books.

However, she received backlash online after promoted the idea of conversion therapy in an interview with fellow actor Sulekha Talwalkar.

She said: “I have a different point of view on same-sex marriage. Today’s generation feels, one is not normal if one does not feel likewise – everyone has got a choice. But there’s also a choice of treatment.”

Her anti-LGBT+ comments did not stop, as she claimed that same-sex parents were putting their children’s “human rights” at risk.

She continued: “I feel that a lot of people talk about their human rights and I don’t understand many things, but what I could understand is that if such couples adopt a child – then what about that child’s human rights?”

Businessman Sameer Samudra, who lives with his husband Amit, told Times of India: “The LGBT+ couples and families she spoke of in the interview is me and my family… Comments coming from people like Nishigandha Wad are extremely damaging and it shows that we have a long way to go for acceptance.”

He added: “As LGBT+ individuals, we see and experience homophobia all the time. It does have an impact on our self-esteem, confidence, on our mental health, on our careers, on our place in society, and on our well being in general.

“In spite of these challenges, LGBT+ individuals are shining and succeeding in all walks of life – which I am damn proud of.

“She should get to know us better, educate herself on this topic, and see life from another person’s perspective and ultimately try to be a good human being.”

But Wad has now claimed that despite her comments, she is “not homophobic”.

She told the publication: “I have not spoken anything against anyone. I humbly said that one is not polarised and there is a spectrum in between.

“However, I was only speaking about the human rights of the kids… I have spoken in Marathi and people have not understood what I meant in the right light.

“I have also said that my daughter does not like my views on this, however, I am not a homophobe, my words are being misconstrued. I work for LGBT+ people.”

More: conversion therapy, India, Marathi, Nishigandha Wad, same sex parents, Sameer Samudra, Sulekha Talwalkar

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