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LGBT Gathering Marks Anniversary in India

LGBT Gathering Marks Anniversary in India


Activists rallied Saturday in New Delhi to celebrate the second anniversary of a court decision striking down a law against gay sex and to push for further advances on LGBT rights.

More than 300 people gathered outside the Jantar Mantar observatory, the Hindustan Times reports. "Coming in the wake of the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, the mood was optimistic as the city's queers celebrated the progress India has seen," the newspaper notes.

On July 2, 2009, the Delhi High Court struck down a section of the nation's penal code that criminalized homosexuality. Celebrants of the anniversary distributed pamphlets calling for the nation's Supreme Court to uphold that judgment. The pamphlets also urged the passage of national legislation to end anti-LGBT discrimination, the establishment of government boards to address transgender issues, and the provision of age-appropriate, inclusive sex education in schools.

Music and poetry performances accompanied the rally, where "the mood was euphoric," the Times reports. While attendees acknowledged much work remains to be done, they noted that progress has taken place.

"I now have the courage to be myself," said a young man identified only as Rohit, a member of the Delhi student group Queer Campus. "I will be coming out to my family soon, and later this year I hope to come out to the whole world."

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