LGBTs Vent Ire Against SC Verdict - The New Indian Express

LGBTs Vent Ire Against SC Verdict

Published: 12th December 2013 08:38 AM

Last Updated: 12th December 2013 08:38 AM

Love knows no boundaries for Tom and Abhi (names changed) who married in Spain four years ago. Their marriage remains strong despite the Supreme Court order criminalising homosexual acts.

At a protest outside Town Hall, Tom told Express, “I have never been called a criminal before. I think of India as a land of diversity and multiculturalism. Internationally, the verdict will be looked upon as foolhardy.”

The atmosphere at the venue was full of resentment, anger, grief and pain.

Preetham (name changed) was ready to go to police custody when he heard about the verdict. He had attempted suicide in 2004. “The verdict makes life difficult for a person like me. I will always have a feeling of insecurity,” he says.

A transgender from Samara feels fearful for sex workers. “Our gender is easily identifiable and the prevailing harassment will become incomprehensibly worse,” she said.

Member of the Queer Campus Ananya Revanna woke up crying on Wednesday. A person’s sexuality is nobody’s business. The identities of the people who passed the verdict must be questioned, not ours, she said. Vinay Chandran, secretary of Swabhava, an LGBT rights organisation, believes the Supreme Court missed the chance to prove itself as a guardian of human rights. “This was a historic occasion to make a mark in the country’s history. The court blew it,” he says.

Tushar from Queer Campus said, “Who are the criminals and what is our crime? The LGBT community in urban areas has the safety net of their parents. What about rural areas where awareness is low?”

Some activists also said the government was contradicting itself. Prabhath, member of Payana, a network which helps the LGBT community in rural areas, said it was the government that supported the advocacy for gay rights by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). But looks like the government could not decide whether gays are susceptible to AIDS or not?

Manohar Elavarthi from Praja Rajakiya Vedike said the Congress or BJP have never opposed LGBT rights in the state. The right to decide one’s sexuality is a human right.

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