US President Barack Obama tweeted his support for gay marriage on May 9 in a historic message, reading, “Same sex couples should be able to get married.”- President Obama. Since then, that message has swept across the microblogging site. It has been retweeted over 60,317 times as we went to the press. A live tally of the number of re-tweets can be checked out at
As Obama becomes the first US president to stand up for the cause of the LGBT openly, his statement endorsing same-sex marriage is being hailed by the Capital’s rainbow groups. “Our Indian politicians must take a cue from this. While our politicians and lawmakers say that gay sex is immoral, the US president has set a great example by endorsing our rights. Discriminating against gay couples and denying them the right to live together respectfully is inhuman,” says transgender Maria Mehra. Manpreet, a member of the gay community, says Obama’s statement must at least inspire Indians politicians to give up homophobia. “If India has to keep pace with the advanced nations, our politicians can’t harbour archaic beliefs that trample over human rights,” he says.
Rupika Dhillion, project director, SPACE (Society for Peoples’ Awareness, Care & Empowerment), a Delhi-based organisation that works for LGBT rights, says, “There are a large number of gay couples in India who meet secretly, get beaten up by the police and are ridiculed by the society. It’s heartening that Obama has publicly spoken in favour of granting equal rights to gays and lesbians by supporting same sex marriages. “India may have a long way to go when it comes to gay marriages, but at least, we could stop ostracising gays,” adds Dhillion, who is sending a thank you card to Obama on behalf of the community.