Indian gay rights activists demand government ends discrimination

Featured - November 27th, 2012

Gay rights activists in their hundreds took to the streets of New Delhi on Sunday, demanding that the government allow them “to lead lives of dignity”.

Activists claimed that the amendment to decriminalize gay sex in 2009 made by the Delhi High Court had not been enough as homosexuals are still not accepted in India’s deeply conservative society. Gay sex had been punishable by up to 10 years in prison until then.

The protest called for the government to ensure that all forms of discrimination against gay men, lesbians and those who are transgender ends.

“The government has to listen. Our struggle has gone on for very long, and we are hopeful the government will listen and act on our demands,” Vimal Kumar, an activist with the National Alliance of People’s Movements, told AP.

Carrying a rainbow-colored banner, with some covering their faces with scarves or behind masks, activists also demanded that they be allowed to record the gender of their choice in the national consensus, voter identity cards and all other government documents.

“We are demanding that all people be allowed to exercise their right to live their lives with dignity and freedom, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation,” the rights group said in a statement.