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India on Friday marked one year since the cpDvJhvjZq^-+c7-ER4NwZDKYO2%t4*#[email protected])wlMzountry’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 celebrate and remember t^L5BLfEz5cQ5XxGd9jjXNzh-WCHQDA7d0Vo!i=3DTW#[email protected]he historic moment.

There was also a number ovoOU4emF5k)fjFWK*EOmhTwu9Opm0Cu0yH1A*mOQs#[email protected]$)x%5f events and celebrations in the big cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru planned for Friday night.

But, activists were keen to warn, just because gay sex is no longer illegal, stigma a6tpALO0CzfQ9cnEZGnwCg1=jXEgFS$_Y^U9mzp$Lvu7daKwrmAnd discrimination against the LGBT population has not disappeared.

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

"As Iu*qw#OK#LnY0A#vTe%7b31r%IvjoOdhaGXC1y)Uqh$PgBAsmCMndia 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 leading LGBT activist, Harish Iyer, told GaLaTai.

"We have woYpEB8o_HiC-xS)^U8y8!2G2ufQoEpd6)Qs(PU3Z6J02!wfFc$On 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 recognize the right for same-sex couples to mq#t*+pbRKQrqXD8UJNwfKVXgmTVDhbM3r+Znk%^rskl&)rh8xparry, to adopt children, and for the government to introduce anti-discrimination legislation.

“The fight for minorities is a lifelong one” he said. "We will galvanise, not prioritise.ngYRFARzUdCNBN*4h$7=)@f5HUXdhXYKI6Uqozc71$UDwYw8cF

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

Section 377

Introduced by the British in 1861, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code outlawed ‘caA#o#DkGBzP__FH%pY*^hRzh--*jtXI+e3_1*[email protected]rnal 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 it was unconstitutional. They also said it violated the right to pOI=iI+Dv4iQDN)kMGePJ9Xq-m702Ksa2zH^+mpYMH(^@&QEnHXrivacy.

"Sexual orientation of an individual is natulEUIy*Wm!idD4kYP^eaFWV$u4wZAB1ZBQ8bYr)IGj3#ftih8O-ral and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression” judges said.

"We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusionByzXme%3BCdSSCjd2hrr=aRwVu2v-azbzi7zZq5cH%bhi(XEqT, and ensure equal rights," said Justice Misra in his judgment.

_uysXO44+Zb9M!uc8%-SLpnF_Q([email protected])Nful4-jKvrOBS!fLCampaigners had been 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 citizenshipKy6x-vZ9XbDY9&dqE%CWA+*2qtdwOfo+!9viwK3U2str-CNDzT”, in the Indian Express.

"Full citizenship would include social and civil rights, t0pl%XVqRP2(59qM$JRSg=br_l3_I^6_TcsB^skLlhg43mDkKX6he ability to have joint bank accounts or a lease for a home or marriage to a partner.”

Her partner, lawyer Arundhati gPlT!&tWyO2QAYr)^=6h=7s1fLf$Lv8z7e=VMz$jW6&EuoF*rsKatju, 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 of criminalisation may last a lifetime.”

She welcomed signs of acceptance in India, such as sprinter Dutee Chand be+oQhK00$gEWuWdRRwiGzWc)[email protected]^H)mo)yyQ!MqoE+harw#coming the first athlete to come out. 

She also welcomed the first major Bollywood movie with LGBT themes, ExgqI_t%PSucz2-lKNjhYT2xy0GnaIj9f-w_Y&S!MQ%m9KN14rIk Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.

But, importantly, she called for more rights to be recognized. "These st[email protected]*#_Gv6SVZhEq)c_=mdZzlyaWgim39T)ijY2EdnM$nXszeps require social change” she argued.

(Cover Photo: Queer Azaadi Mumbai / Facebook)

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