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It's Complicated: LGBT India Since 2003

June 2012: Amra Ki Etoi Bhinno/Are We So Different, a remarkable documentary about gay and bisexual men, and transgender women in India, wins Best Documentary Short Film at the Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. The film is certainly provocative, and it challenges the views we have about sexuality and HIV in countries like India. See the full film above. (This year the Mumbai International Queer Film Festival runs May 21 to 25.)


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October 3, 2013: Transgender women perform at a seminar for the trans community in Mumbai. For India's gay population, the joy that greeted the 2009 court ruling legalizing gay sex is tempered by the fact that, although the law now accepts them, society still does not. For all the celebrations and talk of a historic milestone, many believe it will take more than a court decision to change public attitudes toward homosexuality, which is largely taboo in India and considered by many as a mental illness.

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December 11, 2013: Akshay Khanna of Voices Against 377 talks with the media on the Supreme Court lawn in New Delhi. India's Supreme Court upheld a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality in a landmark judgment that crushed activists' hopes for guarantees of sexual freedom in the world's biggest democracy. A two-judge panel overturned a Delhi High Court ruling from 2009 that section 377 of the Indian penal code, prohibiting people from engaging in "carnal acts against the order of nature," on infringed the fundamental rights of Indians.


Tags: World, India

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