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Mumbai sees record turnout for gay pride after India court re-criminalizes gay sex

Sunday, February 2, 2014
TwitterParticipants unfurl a rainbow flag a Mumbai pride on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

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Participants unfurl a rainbow flag a Mumbai pride on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

MUMBAI, India — A record crowd estimated at over 5,000 participants turned out for gay pride in Mumbai on Saturday, the first pride event since the country’s supreme court reinstated a colonial-era law that criminalizes gay sex.

Now in its seventh year, Mumbai’s pride event was bigger and bolder, attracting crowds from across the globe for a festive and highly charged atmosphere, reports DNA India.

“Ideally, the march is about taking pride in what you are. But this year’s upsurge in numbers is a reflection of the community’s anger and hurt over being re-criminalized,” said Ashok Row Kavi, one of India’s leading gay rights activists.

“If courts think they can brush us off and treat us like sub-humans they need to see how they have ended up giving the movement a shot in the arm instead. This movement will grow and succeed.”

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India’s Supreme Court ruled in December that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (unnatural sexual offenses) — a 153-year-old law that criminalizes homosexuality — was constitutionally valid, and that only lawmakers and not the courts could change the law.

The ruling struck down a 2009 lower court decision that decriminalized gay sex.

The ruling dealt a blow to gay activists who have fought for years for the chance to live openly in India’s deeply conservative society, and has drawn sharp criticism from human rights advocates worldwide.

The law, dating back to the 1860s, when Britain ruled over South Asia, states that “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

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40 more reader comments:

  1. this has always answered the gays in the military question for me.. who is braver than men and women who risk their lives everyday just to be themselves.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:58pm
  2. Meanwhile you have a bunch of bigoted cowards talking shit about them.

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:14pm
  3. interesting……why do there got to be a fight…..why not accept everyone is different but all sexual preference within bring love is really the same……..

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:00pm
  4. i just cant believe they recriminalized it… whats happening to this world why are we going backwards instead of forwards? I WILL LOVE WHO I WANT TO… ITS MY BASIC HUMAN RIGHT!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:01pm
  5. Awesome…unity

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:01pm
  6. nice work Mumbai!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:02pm
  7. We are a brave and resilient people.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:05pm
  8. Remember there are no homosexuals in India!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:13pm
  9. Keep fighting theocracy world wide.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:17pm
  10. Fight LGBT India Family.. Fight!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:19pm
  11. lets just criminalize the foolish court that orders this

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:27pm
  12. Add me handsome :))

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:30pm
  13. WTF is up with India???? They support rapists and now this! I boycott everything made in India.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:42am
  14. It’s ironic that India has cultures that support groups like Hijira, who were a >2000 year old cult of transsexuals who have themselves castrated to become women.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:57am
  15. Peace is not always found in silence! NEVER SILENCE YOUR PRIDE!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:04am
  16. Add me too

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:34am
  17. Hi 29 0

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:41am
  18. Gay RAPE should be illegal, just like any other form of rape. However, same sex sex between loving and consenting partners expressing their love for each other, should not be regulated at all. The stable relationships, including marriage, should be encouraged.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 2:05am
  19. I don’t get it. What exactly have they accomplished? How will this help the people, economy or environment of India????

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 2:08am
  20. fuck their courts , time for a change up .

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 2:15am
  21. Brave!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 2:38am
  22. God bless these brave people…..

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:20am
  23. Because violent gang rape isn’t the real issue in India? -_- Priorities…

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:18am
  24. The actions of India and Russia is reason enough for America to legalize and support same sex marriage nationally, and certainly enough to support the GLBT community throughout the world.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:34am
  25. Visibility… It’s what will change the world.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:41am
  26. I am so Proud of you my brothers and sisters. I send my Love to you and hope it shines as bright as all of you are over there. <3

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:06am
  27. It’s time to protest homophobia demand equality justice dignity!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:25am
  28. Do what Ghandi did protest in the thousands to make change!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:26am
  29. The world will not crush us…we are part if it..when we hurt…those who care about us hurt too…we will not hide because we are stronger if our friends and family know who we are and they can stand beside us, We will be free…we have been oppressed for too long thus is our time to stop hiding and fight for our right to be!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:48am
  30. India should be off the travel list.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:59am
  31. God find our expression of love beautiful and our fight just, The New Message from God

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:20am
  32. We Will Not Be Beaten ! Love Wins in the End ! ;o) X

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:28am
  33. Brilliant!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:28am
  34. Way to show your pride. Keep fighting and eventually bigotry will lose.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:06am
  35. Oh ok they criminalize gay sex but they have a national rape day . Good job India fucking disgusting

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:48am
  36. How amusing, that they criminalize gay sex, but support and PROMOTE child marriages and rape? I’d like to hear any fundie support these kind of criminals.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:27am
  37. Love wins :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:12am
  38. Another toilet smelling place NOT to visit.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:13am
  39. Way to go beautiful people of India…..This makes me happy!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:01pm
  40. Aweful and inspiring

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:16pm