India: Delhi’s first Pride since homosexuality was re-criminalised

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The first Delhi Pride march has taken place since India re-criminalised homosexuality last year.

Defiant protesters took to the streets In Delhi’s seventh ever Queer Pride on Sunday, chanting “freedom” and “I’m gay, that’s OK”.

Last December, India’s Supreme Court devastated the local LGBT community when it re-instated Section 377 of the penal code – reinstating the country’s ban on homosexuality.

Under the penal code, those found to be engaging in “sexual acts against the order of nature” face up to 10 years in prison.

One of the organisers, Mohnish Kabir Malhotr told Reuters: “We are making a statement that we exist. We are not a minuscule minority. Deal with it.”

Others called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce legislation to repeal the ban.

Activist Rudrani Chettri said: “Modi is a very wise person. I don’t know whether he’ll support or not support, but he’s not going to do anything which is going to harm any Indian citizen’s right.”

However, Mr Modi has taken little action to repeal the law since taking office in May – and some are losing faith that he will act to revoke the ban.

Activists said the ruling made them feel like second class citizens, and had increased anti-gay discrimination. It was hoped the pride march would help fight this prejudice.

Organisers said beforehand: “The Delhi Queer Pride is a parade for diversity, acceptance, solidarity and resistance.

“We invite members and allies of the queer communities to march together to inspire, educate, support and promote an open, free and equal society, and work towards a future without discrimination and prejudice.

“Join us as we celebrate our identities and stand up against oppression and violence.”