New Delhi prepares for fourth annual Pride event

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The Indian capital city is preparing for its fourth Pride parade this weekend, the third after decriminalising homosexuality in 2009.

Mohnish Malhotra of ‘Queer Delhi’, one of the organisers, told IANS: “We don’t take any sponsorships and like every year, money has been raised through a fundraising party that was held earlier this month.”

“‘We will distribute masks, rainbow coloured scarves, whistles, candies, amongst other things.”

2000 people attended the event last year.

In July, India’s health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, caused uproar by referring to homosexuality as an unnatural “disease” from the west.

Also this summer, a lesbian couple were granted 24-hour police protection after family members allegedly threatened to kill them.

The women, named as Savita, 25, and Veena, 20, from Manesar, near New Delhi, married and went to a court to ask for protection. They were reportedly granted a safe house and full-time police protection.

Homosexuality was decriminalised by the Delhi High Court in July 2009, when it was ruled to have been in violation of the constitution.

Section 377 was enacted in 1860 under the British Raj, in line with the anti-sodomy laws in England at the time.

In Bangalore, the Pride march this weekend is paired with a public photography competition, with the theme “In Public”.