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India on Friday marked one year since the coux5R6=pJPF%#q&O!WwcCHW^Sg_!PLZO%usUjbsu8HG1$$lsM0*Mntry’s Supreme Court struck down a colonial-era law and decriminalized gay sex.

Plenty of LGBT Indians and their allies took to social media to cah8P&mKyIbQvW5KwCrtrgpuDm1RHN+JX31C53#1-xwYw0E!&WCelebrate and remember the historic moment.

There was also a number of events and celebrations in the big cities of Delhi, Mumbai, a1$VKz84vq+*1#v%h(y8J39DCi4QmlN7xIy=BxKk%Sp$pbqN*pxnd Bengaluru planned for Friday night.

But, activists were keen to warn, just because gay sex is no longer illegal, stigma and d[email protected])dVX*o(yKHE8%3FmCm(x)jVP5ja+UI*jT)%I)lSHdD#iscrimination against the LGBT population has not disappeared.

“We will fly now, not flap our rainbow wings"

"As India rejoices today, and is elated with joy, we need to remember that this is just the beginning of the end of discrimination of Queer people” India’s Ux-!s6_YsY3te$t-EE)5osE^_=wXY&B3=v+%1S)a)[email protected]^SJ4kleading LGBT activist, Harish Iyer, told GaLaTai.

"We haG(4(#MyTw*[email protected]@[email protected]_r%lFpTixve won the right to make love as adults in private without the sword of the law hanging over our heads”.

But, he said, “we need more”. 

He called for India to QJt3l_38TV&mX9Im$AAqfYy*EE-yTSX-)yLI8_i_Y+N5b3SB66recognize the right for same-sex couples to marry, to adopt children, and for the government to introduce anti-discrimination legislation.

“The fight for minorities is a lifelong one” he said. "We wiBcZ)[email protected])%xgnF0kH7iY_=xsGSb=sz8_YHC=8D+ll galvanise, not prioritise.”

"We will fly now, not flap our rainbow wings.”

Section 377

Introduced by the British in 1861, Section 377 of the Indian Penal CTSieK^nIhcsVhIy9Ttssw37OtkJWl+1^5*d)yV9cccDk1KcU$uode outlawed ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal’.

It punished gay sex with up to 10 years in prison.

Judges in September last year, ruled iJz6ONM9SRi)=Ixgiis2u)uP0HxO6ZXGX7iR#%bG%#HL4T$6u7Tt was unconstitutional. They also said it violated the right to privacy.

"Sexual orientation of an individual is nAhA7^%oKhHZp^B7)[email protected]@4T0(k!byr18eLPfnTnatural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression” judges said.

"We havejclUdCh9%Roknwe()(xGHNXtI9qxW5GWzlv(7cv7sI)F*$wX8h to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights," said Justice Misra in his judgment.

Campaigners had O0Vt9QualwOt64$)=88eIvBmXRU3vEpxxW+KoIYFszfJ8CvviDbeen pushing to abolish a colonial-era law since the 1990s.

A long way to go

On Friday, leading lawyer Menaka Guruswamy who fought the case for decriminalization said "We have a long way to go towards full citi[email protected]^$!XPQVO2mu38bx1Ydl(VQzS0R9S_9lyDa(sFWc8zenship”, in the Indian Express.

"Full citizenship would includeyCQ$NUQ!sfT+6b#[email protected]*aAA2DCM4k%UHhdY$!hn0PM#&4!Il social and civil rights, the ability to have joint bank accounts or a lease for a home or marriage to a partner.”

Her partner, lawyer Arundhati Katju, said: "The moment of freedom has been savoured, the shift begun from a mentality of fear to the confidence to assert citizenship rights, though the trauma [email protected])x%s31D4)0IfnCYevwfGU(dbDy2olBo-$of criminalisation may last a lifetime.”

She welcomed signs of acceptance in India, such as sprinter DuxoVZK&=g^)0BWbrBhzJFr41gprV=ChV#dl_tHh(AY7XTGEUMgQtee Chand becoming the first athlete to come out. 

She also welcomed the first major Bollywood movie with LGBT themes, Ek Ladki KU([email protected](z0Kyjrhy)@gz&h1d=W_m-iFJEm16ty(K#$dWZOJZo Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.

But, importantly, she called for more rights to be recognized. "These steps require social chanHbDP01ni63ISL3[email protected]*6NsuNhpS^g-Ohge” she argued.

(Cover Photo: Queer Azaadi Mumbai / Facebook)

Watch Cut Snake on GagaOOLala.
1970s, Australia. Merv Farrell, a very private man in his twenties, is trying to make a life for himself in a new city. He has found honest work and becomes engaged to the beautiful Paula. But the prospect of his new life is challenged when the charismatic Pommie tracks him down. Merv finds himself drawn back into a world that he thought he had left behind.

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