News / Asia

India’s Gay Community Fights for Acceptance, Equality

India's Gay Community Fights for Acceptance, Equalityi
X
April 12, 2013 4:50 PM
Indian activists are listening closely as the U.S. Supreme Court debates the issue of same sex marriage. VOA New Delhi correspondent Aru Pande takes a closer look at progress made on the issue of gay rights in India, nearly four years after a key court ruling that decriminalized homosexual sex.

India's Gay Community Fights for Acceptance, Equality

Aru Pande
Indian activists are listening closely as the U.S. Supreme Court debates the issue of same sex marriage. Activists are assessing progress made on the issue of gay rights in India, nearly four years after a Indian key court ruling that decriminalized homosexual sex.

As a gay man in India, life has not been easy for Kiran. He left his home in the Andaman Islands and came to New Delhi two years ago, after years of ridicule from teachers, students and members of his own family.
 
The discrimination and feeling of being an outcast was not limited to his personal life. “When my employer found out that I am homosexual, they fired me from my job - saying you look and act gay and we can’t keep you here,” Kiran said.
 
Kiran found work, hope and support at the Naz Foundation, a non-governmental organization working with people who have HIV and AIDS.
 
Anjali Gopalan founded the group in 1994 to work with men whom she says had no gay identity and were getting married to women to conform to societal norms.
 
“To me, it became very clear the impact on the lives of women and children. It took on a great urgency. I believe people who don’t value themselves will not protect themselves from HIV,” Gopalan said.

She decided to focus her efforts on repealing the law criminalizing homosexual sex after speaking with a 20-year old who underwent shock therapy at a major Delhi hospital in order to “become straight.”
 
The nearly decade-long effort paid off with the Delhi High Court declaring the law unconstitutional in 2009. Gopalan says the ruling has tremendous impact.
 
“No longer could we as a culture, sweep homosexuality under the carpet by saying ‘oh, it’s a Western phenomenon, it doesn’t impact us, it doesn’t exist in India and the little bit that exists is because of the West, it’s not an Indian thing,” Gopalan said.
 
Lawyer and gay rights activist Aditya Bondyopadhyay agrees.  He says the ruling means police are less likely to harass gay men in public parks -- but more importantly - that homosexuals are less afraid of coming out.
 
“What has happened since the judgment is that enormous, exuberant force of people have become unleashed, it’s like the genie getting out of the bottle and can not be put back again.  People have certainly tasted that liberty, so you have film festivals, even small towns that never dreamt of having gay pride parades are having them,” Bondyopadhyay said.
 
Still, gay rights activists say the fight is far from over.
 
Conservative groups are challenging the ruling that decriminalized homosexual sex in the Indian Supreme Court. Until that issue is settled, activists say they cannot press for same-sex marriage and other rights.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: srinivas from: hyderabad
May 09, 2013 10:07 PM
I am a gay .. I will fight till my end


by: Grant MacDonald from: Toronto
April 22, 2013 9:03 AM
Being left-handed – being black or being gay is just as natural. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it is love between two guys or two girls … all the better … it takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!


by: Amara Das from: USA
April 21, 2013 3:17 PM
Homosexual couples have existed since time immemorial and the Kama Shastra (2.9.36) mentions that such couples "greatly attached to each other and with complete faith in one another, get married together." It is only a Christian and Muslim idea that homosexuals should be oppressed and eliminated from society. Because otherwise in the Hindu conception, Bhagavan (God) loves and cares for everyone in His creation.


by: Omo from: Nigeria
April 15, 2013 2:39 PM
This world is passing away. All this useless talk about same sex marriage is a clear indication that the world government is confused and is heading towards an eternal damnation. Pray that God will deliver us from this evil generation. The reason God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah has come into our own time. If the land of Sodom and Gomorrah was not spared in those days, nothing can spare this generation fro the coming wrath of God. Repent and believe the Lord Jesus Christ anf you will be saved.


by: Van from: VN
April 14, 2013 11:12 PM
Homosexual marriages do not usually live together in a long time. And why are they bored quickly although they had fights with the goverment, social ... before.
And homosexual marriages , are they true love ??? Gay or les , are you serious ?

In Response

by: ner ner thema
April 21, 2013 11:45 AM
True love? Seriously? Do you know the stats for divorce rates for them "heterosexual marriages"?


by: Ameer Tarin from: UK
April 13, 2013 4:36 AM
India is the largest democracy and is on the march. People have their rights and so should gay people be allowed their rights. All right thinking people must support these individual rights and pressurize Indian government prove to the world that India believes in equality for all.


by: ravi from: chennai
April 12, 2013 4:19 PM
Honorable SC reserved its verdict last year itselfin March 2012. One yr gone stil the verdict is not thr. IS thr any time limit to it?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid