Gay Pride Parade to turn into protest parade

Published: Dec 12, 2013, 07:24 IST | Varun Singh |

The annual parade, scheduled for February 2014, was a celebratory event for the LGBT community; but with the SC ruling gay sex a criminal act yesterday, participants will now undertake a march against the decision

What was supposed to be a day of celebration for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community will now be marked by protests and angry voices.

Harish Iyer holds up a placard against the ruling

After the Supreme Court set aside the ruling by the Delhi HC that decriminalised gay sex, and upheld Section 377, which terms sexual relations between homosexuals a criminal offence, gay rights groups are up in arms and have decided to convert the annual Gay Pride Parade into a protest event. “After the judgment, there’s nothing to celebrate. Hence, the parade will happen, but it would be a protest parade,” said Harish Iyer, an equal rights activist.

Sibi Mathen. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

The event was scheduled to be held in February 2014, but the judgment poured cold waters over the organisers’ plans. It was a part of a weeklong celebration that was to be held under the banner Queer Azadi Mumbai Week and the parade was held on the last day. But sources claim that most of the events from the week would be cancelled after yesterday.

Sibi Mathen, of Yaariyan, a Facebook group for LGBT rights, said, “Events in the Azadi Week may be cancelled. However, a final decision on the same is yet to be taken.” Sonal Gianani, a bisexual activist, claimed that the ruling was regressive.

“It is taking a step backwards. Because of this, there will be many cases of suicide, because young kids won’t be able to come out and express their feelings, fearing society,” she feared. Pallav Patankar of The Humsafar Trust, an NGO that promotes LGBT rights, claimed that many lesbians had come out of the closet after July 2009, but the ruling had struck fear in them all.

Many gay activists claimed that people were now scared to come out of the closet, as being a homosexual was almost criminal in India. “We will be harassed by people who want to trouble us. Section 377 will be used as a tool to blackmail us,” said the activist.

Tweet talk

I am most disappointed with this judgement. It feels very intolerant and violative of basic human rights. Its a shame.
- Aamir Khan

The Supreme Court has urged Parliament to delete Section 377 from the statute book. As an MP, I am strongly in favour of doing so.
- Shashi Tharoor, Congress minister

Second 377, it’s frightening how someone else decides how, when and who you should love – basically freedom of choice isn’t legal anymore.
- Shruti Haasan, actress

India banned love. Shame! Shame! India celebrated Human Rights Day yesterday. Today India passed the verdict against Human Rights to have consensual sex.
- Taslima Nasreen, writer

We are going to put cops behind gay couples. That’s the India we are supposed to create in the 21st century? Criminalizing a sexual preference other than your own is the issue. Whether you like gay people or not, they can’t be deemed criminals.
- Chetan Bhagat, writer

The Supreme Court got it wrong today.
- Farhan Akhtar, actor and director

Today is 11.12.13. Unless you work in our Supreme Court, in which case it’s the year 1826.
- Vir Das, comedian

So disappointed with the SC verdict. Freedom is such a deceptive term. Rights are an ambiguous mystery.
- Anushka Sharma, actress

Very dark day for freedom and human rights as Indian Supreme Court rules to criminalise homosexuality.
- Mia Farrow, actress

How can love be illegal?
- Neha Dhupia, actress

So much for those believing the judiciary is ‘the last bastion of common sense’ in this country.
- Rahul Bose, actor

We obviously don’t believe in EQUAL Rights even in the Times when we send Mangalyaan to Mars.
- Anupam Kher, actor

In my personal opinion, the state must not interfere in two consenting adults’ private lives.
- RPN Singh, Congress minister

“I am ANGRY by the SC ruling on #IPC377 very very disappointed that the bench of the Supreme court hold us Regressive Colonial 153year old #IPC377. A dark day for the history of Judiciary and Human rights in India. A sad day for Democracy whr the SU bench denies the LGBT community its constitutional rights to EQUALITY n protection against DISCRIMINATION I think more than ever before that all who believe in human rights raise their voice against the SC verdict. think the film industry should in a much larger scale join the artist community in raising its voice against the SC verdict on #IPC377. SILENCE is SHAMEFUL. Speak up against the SC verdict on #IPC377”
- Onir, Filmmaker

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