Even as political parties have embarked on their campaign trails ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the LGBT community seemed to have already decided on the candidates they will be voting for.
Chennai Dost, a Chennai-based organisation for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, recently launched ‘Vote Against 377’, a socio-political
movement in an attempt to sensitise members of the LGBT on the party and candidates that support reading down of 377 to decriminalise homosexuality.
“This is an attempt to bring awareness about the stand of the political parties and the candidates on IPC 377 and decriminalising homosexuality. Of course, through this campaign we also encourage the community, its supporters and the general public to cast their vote. But we will definitely not insist that our people vote for a particular candidate or a party,” said Vikranth, founder, Chennai Dost. The organisation has already launched an online campaign and will begin their visit to districts from April, when members of the organisation will meet the local community and supporters. The organisation will visit Madurai, Tiruchy and Vellore.
“We have also identified a few candidates from various parties who are willing to support us and raise the
issue in Parliament if they are elected,” Vikranth said, and added that about two
to eight per cent of the population in the state were homosexuals.
The organisation, which is extending support to transgender activists Bharathi Kannamma, who is contesting from Madurai, is also planning to send a letter to all political parties to include LGBT rights and reading down of 377 as part of their manifesto.