MUMBAI: The LGBTQ activists in Mumbai on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex. "This is just the beginning. Much more needs to be done," said leading activist and gay rights campaigner Ashok Row Kavi.
"The apex court verdict is very sensitive to the rights of the LGBTQ while protecting minors and animals. Now the work on mental and physical health issues pertaining to the LGBTQ, adopting the legislation pertaining to marriage, divorce or adoptions to the LGBTQ, etc. needs to be started," said Kavi, Chairman of Humsafar Trust.
Various NGOs, rights groups and LGBTQ organizations under the Humsafar Trust banner also took out a victory rally from Vakola to Kalina in the Western Mumbai suburb of Santacruz in the evening to celebrate the apex court verdict. LGBTQ activist Harish Iyer, the first gay in the country seeking proposals for same-sex marriage, termed the verdict as "very progressive and welcome, heralding the beginning of the end of discrimination".
"This is very important decision that would help do away with the social taboo. The members of the LGBTQ community won't have to hide their identity now. The families used to duffer a lot, that suffering would go away. I expect the people to open up and respect the sexualities now," said Shrigauri Sawant who campaigns for the transgender rights.
"The verdict could be a boon and revolutionize the scenario for women who are the biggest sufferers and are shunned by society for their 'same-sex' preferences. Lesbians undergo huge torture in their public and private lives, many resorts to excessive smoking, drinking or drugs, face several health issues and mental trauma, or fall into depression with nobody to confide in. We hope the SC judgment will be a big relief," she added.