India: Bollywood filmmaker drops support for political party as they ‘let down’ gay groups

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A Bollywood filmmaker has withdrawn his support from the country’s new anti-corruption party, as they haven’t pledged to de-criminalise homosexuality in their manifesto.

Onir, one of Bollywood’s most influential gay figures, had last month backed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which sprung up and make shock gains to come second in the 2013 Delhi legislative assembly elections.

However, Onir told Hindustan Times today that he will drop his support for the party, as their manifesto does not commit to de-criminalising homosexuality.

He told the newspaper: “The meeting of the LGBT community with several AAP leaders two week ago here [in Delhi] had raised expectations. But the manifesto is completely silent on the issue of LGBTs and there is not a single line about section 377 in it.”

“Having been officially told that the AAP did not by mistake omit LGBT issue from its manifesto, I withdraw my support to the party.

“True intentions have to manifest in action and not just oratory. The LGBT community has been let down by AAP.”

Homosexuality was re-criminalised by India’s Supreme Court in December when they re-enacted Section 377 of the Penal code, which dates back to colonial times.

AAP had previously said they would seek to repeal the ban once and for all, and a party spokesman said they didn’t commit to it in their manifesto as they “need not include issues on which our stand is already known.”