As the White house lit up with ‘pride’, people from all the 50 states of the United States of America danced in glee with many taking to the streets to mark the historic ruling by the Supreme Court to legalise same sex marriage all over the country on June 26.
Many in India and other parts of the world also rejoiced in the colours of the rainbow flag fluttering across the US. With slogans like ‘A supreme day to be gay in the USA’ and ‘I do support the freedom to marry’, the Americans’ joy knows no bounds.
Social media is not far behind. Hashtags such as #LoveWins and #LoveRules have been trending all over and social networking site Facebook has come up with a customised service for users to infuse their profile pictures with the colours of the rainbow to show their support for the landmark moment in LGBT rights activism.
As revolutionary as it is for the US on the ground, in essence it is for Chandigarh too. The city has had its fair share of LGBT activism with gay pride walks being organised for the past two to three years now.
Bikram Kohli, an LGBT activist said, “It is definitely a great step for the good of the world, more so because the affirmation has come first from a democracy known to be the most liberal in the world.”
When asked about India’s stand on LGBT rights, he said marriage was too much to ask for in lieu of Section 377 but equal rights and legalisation of consensual sex among adults was the initial step.
Dhananjay Singh from Saksham Trust, a non-government organisation for the LGBT, said, “So long as we have fundamentalists in power, implementing such laws was too much in the scheme of things.”
Simranpreet Mahant, a transgender, was thrilled about the decision. “I am glad that at least somewhere in the world one’s choice to love as they please has been accepted with dignity. I would be the happiest person if something like this could happen in India but I don’t really see it coming,” said Simranpreet.
“The greatness of this pronouncement has totally revived my faith in humanity. It’s a true example of accepting love in its purest form and respecting someone’s choice to be in love and live with whoever they want to. Where the US has taken a huge leap when it comes to LGBT rights, India hasn’t even begun to crawl. However, I strongly hope love will win over India too,” said Siddharth Malhotra, a BCom (Honours) student. Mitika Khanna, another second year student pursuing BA had similar feelings to share.
“As a youngster from a conservative society, this law gives me hope. Since the decision has been taken by the most influential country in the world, I am pretty sure it would someday lead to a greater acceptance of such couples even in India,” said Mitika. “What America has done for LGBT rights is extraordinary. It could be a game-changer in the long run. It’s a landmark moment not only for Americans but also for the community across the world,” said Gaurav Mallik,19.