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At New Delhi Pride Parade, Marchers Call for End to Anti-LGBT Laws

India Pride Parade
AP Photo by Tsering Topgyal

The marchers protested India's ban on gay sex as well as other instances of discrimination.

LGBT rights activists marched in New Delhi's Pride parade Sunday, calling for the repeal of a law that criminalizes gay sex and for an end to other instances of discrimination in India.

"We have to have an inclusive society," parade attendee Rituparna Borah told the Associated Press.

India's ban on gay sex -- Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code -- was struck down by the Delhi High Court in 2009, but it was reinstated in 2013 by the nation's Supreme Court, which said only Parliament, not the courts, could change the law. Now, however, the Supreme Court's chief justice is hearing a challenge to Section 377, which has been denounced by Indian celebrities and religious leaders as well as by diplomats around the world.

While Indian society has become more accepting of LGBT people in recent years, much still has to be done, activists said at the parade. "There has been a lot of change, and we have gone back also," Saurav Jain told the AP. Some attendees said they think the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not interested in advancing LGBT rights.

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