Legalise gay marriages — that’s the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community’s big demand ahead of the second anniversary of the decriminalisation of gay sex in India. With the recent passing of governor Andrew Como’s bill that legalises same-sex marriages in New York, Indians are hopeful that the move would show positive ripple effects in the country, and are set to shout for it at Jantar Mantar on July 2 — the day that marks two years since the reading down of IPC’s Section 377 by the Delhi High Court.
“Encouraged by the development in New York and the fact that the UN, too, has passed a bill against discrimination on the basis of sexuality, we want the Indian government, too, to spring into action. We demand that the time has come when gay marriages become legal in India, too,” says Mohnish Kabir Malhotra, gay rights activist and organiser of the July 2 pride parade.
“The objective of Saturday’s demonstration is too put in a clear message — it’s high time for that change. It can’t get any later than this. While laws to support gay rights are most welcome, it’s also important that the society’s mindset change,” says Rituparna Borah, another supporter-activist.
Other members of the community, too, plan to make big noise. “We ape whatever the West does. So why should we shy away from accepting gay marriages? I want to propose marriage to my girlfriend. I hope I can do it soon enough,” says Rani, 28, who hopes that India ushers in the new law, too. Gay rights lawyer Bharat Bhushan is also hopeful. He says, “It’s a great thing that NY has legalised gay marriages we welcome the move and hope for winds of change here.”
Another activist, Pramada Menon, says the move will help people respect homosexual relationships. “People need to get a grip on reality and this will help that,” she says. The July 2 celebrations have already registered participation from over a 1000 supporters. There will be stage shows, poetry and music, and a referendum of gay rights and demands will be distributed among the participants.
Google’s sheepish support
Popular search engine Google, which put up a rainbow doodle to mark June as gay pride month, removed the illustration yesterday, two days before the pride month ended. What’s more, the doodle was slammed by the gay community worldwide as it was ‘hidden’ — it did not show on the site’s home page, but only popped up when a ‘pride’ related term was keyed in for a search. The doodle also did not offer any information on the gay pride month.