Time to make LGBTQI community nation’s pride, not burden

Time to make LGBTQI community nation's pride, not burden

Time to make LGBTQI community nation's pride, not burden

New Delhi: Would you be comfortable opening up about your sexual preference, the sexual acts you indulge in? How would you react when your relationship is labelled a crime?

The LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) community has been facing these questions for long, battling for their rights, and they are determined to go on till they become India’s pride.

According to petitioners challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the law which criminalises any sort of homosexual activity, is not only archaic and unreasonable but a “hangover of post-colonial guilt”.

June is Pride Month, and the members of the community say they still feel marginalised. They assert India is missing the pink rupee, which describes the purchasing power of the gay community.

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“A nation cannot progress if a large number of its population lives in fear or is discriminated against. Section 377 is the hangover of our post-colonial guilt. We have had 70 years to right the wrongs,” Keshav Suri, Executive Director, Lalit Suri Hospitality group and a known gay rights activist, told IANS.

“We should start taking responsibility for our human rights and ourselves. Today, the LGBTQI community is in millions and we cannot afford for them to be marginalised. India is also missing the pink rupee, which is big money today,” Suri added.

In 2009, the Delhi High Court had ruled that Section 377 was unconstitutional. But in December 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict.

There have been fresh pleas seeking to strike down the law. Chef Ritu Dalmia, along with Navtej Johar, Sunil Mehra, Ayesha Kapoor and Aman Nath, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the legal validity of Section 377.