Indians March in Delhi’s 11th Annual Queer Pride Parade
Thousands of people marched in the streets of New Delhi in India’s first and largest-ever LGBTQ+ pride parade since the Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex in September.
The Delhi Queer Pride Committee organized Delhi’s 11th annual Queer Pride Parade. The parade saw thousands of people adorned with rainbow-colored outfits and flags marching side-by-side to advocate for inclusion and equality.
Marchers praised the Indian Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in early September to overturn a 150-year law that criminalized gay sex.
The law, formerly known as Section 377, was implemented during British colonial rule, terming homosexual intercourse as “against the order of nature” and sentenced those who performed gay sex to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
India is now one in over 120 countries that have successfully decriminalized homosexuality.
Dipak Misra, India’s Chief of Justice, told the press that “Respect for individual choice is the essence of liberty. This freedom can only be fulfilled when each of us realizes that the LGBT community possesses equal rights.”
Marchers at the parade chanted “We Got Our Freedom” in reference to September’s historic ruling.
Not only did they celebrate the Supreme Court decision, but they also called for the legalization of same-sex marriage and legislation that would make hate crimes against all minorities legally punishable offenses.
But pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage remains an uphill battle for LGBTQ+ activists in India.
Shortly after Section 377 was overturned, a spokesman from the Indian government said that any action towards legalizing same-sex marriage would likely be opposed by conservative politicians.
Nevertheless, LGBTQ+ activists are celebrating a substantial milestone towards the acceptance of diversity in the world’s largest democracy.
“It will take one more generation for social acceptance, but the fear factor is gone. I’m enjoying my life as a free citizen now,” Deepanshu Goswami, one queer Indian citizen, told AFP.