India, Asia

India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the largest democracy in the world. It has the world's twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms have transformed it into the second fastest growing large economy; however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty.

Homosexuality in India is generally considered a taboo subject by both Indian civil society and the government. Scholars differ in their views of the position of homosexuality within India's main religious traditions. There have been arguments that homosexuality was both prevalent and accepted in ancient Hindu society. Since 2001 a major legal challenge was mounted against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised homosexuality. The Delhi High Court ruled in favor of decriminalisation on 2nd July 2009. This ruling had the effect of making homosexuality legal across India. However many religious and fundamentalist groups have challenged the judgement in the Supreme Court, and a final judgement from the Supreme Court is pending as of 2011.  Also see: Islam and Homosexuality

 

News & Reports:

 

Mumbai’s Pride Parade cancelled after anonymous message links it to CAA-NRC protest

Mumbai has been hosting the Queer Azadi March every year since 2008. The annual LGBT Pride Parade scheduled for February 1 at August Kranti Maidan was cancelled Tuesday after an anonymous message was circulated over the weekend linking it to a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed nationwide National Register of… Read more »

Tata Steel’s New Policy Allows LGBTQ Employees to Declare Partners, Avail HR Benefits

Employees will also get financial assistance for gender reassignment surgery and 30 days of special leave for the same. New Delhi: Tata Steel on Monday said that it has introduced a new human resource policy that enables its employees from the LGBTQ+ community to declare their partners and avail all the HR benefits permissible under… Read more »

India’s Transgender Rights Law Isn’t Worth Celebrating

India’s parliament passed a bill to protect transgender rights last week, but the new law is inadequate on several fronts. Trans activists and allied human rights groups have critiqued the various trans rights bills since the first one was introduced in 2016. In the end, lawmakers failed to consider the concerns the activists raised. As… Read more »

Transgender-rights bill angers activists

New Delhi — Last week, as the Indian Parliament passed a bill for the protection of transgender people, thousands of LGBTQ community members protested in the latest battle for gay and transgender rights in the country. The legislation prohibits discrimination and criminalizes physical abuse against the transgender community, but it has been rejected by the… Read more »

Lesbian wedding of Pakistani-Indian couple – wearing sari and sherwani

In a lesbian wedding that showed “love has no borders”, two women – one from India, one from Pakistan – have married in a ceremony wearing traditional outfits. Bianca Maieli wore an ivory sari at her wedding to new wife Saima Ahmad, who wore a sherwani – an outfit traditionally worn by male brides in… Read more »

High Court in India rejects same-sex marriage plea

The court said it was up to parliament of India to draft and pass laws The Delhi High Court in India rejected a plea to legalize same-sex marriage on Monday (8 July). Petitioner Tajinder Singh argued the LGBTI community have fundamental human rights and deserve equality. ‘The Constitution treats everyone equally without any discrimination’ the… Read more »

19-year-old Indian dies by suicide after homophobic abuse

‘Everyone knows I’m a boy, but the way I walk, think, feel, talk…it’s like a girl. People living in India don’t like this’ wrote Avinshu Patel A 19-year-old man in the Indian city of Chennai died by suicide last Wednesday (3 July). The day before, Avinshu Patel, known as Avi, wrote a Facebook post detailing… Read more »

How India’s Stonewall played out in the country’s courts

From 2009 to 2018, barristers, judges, newspapers, and celebrities weighed in on whether LGBTI people could live their true lives 11-12-13 is not just a series of consecutive numbers. The 11th of December, 2013 was when LGBTI Indian’s freedom was taken back. It was a black day in Indian queer history. Our debate was made… Read more »

Villagers ‘humiliated’ by India’s first openly LGBTI athlete

‘She should stick to running’ Villagers in the home village of India’s first out athlete say her coming out was ‘humiliating’. Dutee Chand made international headlines in May when she revealed her female partner was her soulmate, making her the first openly LGBTI athlete in India. She is the current national 100m sprint champion. In… Read more »

LGBTI group compile ‘Pink List’ of queer-friendly Indian politicians

With over 8,000 candidates, the first vote after homosexuality was decriminalized will be a major one The largest election in history is underway in India, and LGBTI groups are working tirelessly to ensure voters are mindful. In the first election since the decriminalisation of Section 377 India, ‘The Pink List’ is a website compendium of… Read more »

First hotel owned and run by trans women opens in India

It will also house counseling services and a shelter for trans peopleA group of trans women has realized its dream and will open their own hotel in Kerala, India. The women planned to open the hotel called Hotel Ruchimudra in the state capital of Kochi in south east India. Aditi Achuth, Saya Mathew, Preethi Alexander,… Read more »

Stop performing operations on intersex children, Indian court rules

The Madras High Court also said a marriage between a man and trans woman was valid The Madras High Court in eastern India on Monday (22 April) made a landmark ruling guaranteeing the rights of transgender and intersex people. It was asked to rule on whether the term ‘bride’ as per the Hindu Marriage Act… Read more »

High court in India moves to protect lesbian couple

Although gay sex was decriminalized last year, the couple were facing abuse and threats from family members A high court in India has instructed police to protect a lesbian couple facing abuse from their family and people in living in their village. It is one of a handful of such judgments since India dramatically decriminalized… Read more »

Mr Gay World India 2019 Suresh Ramdas On Coming Out, Sec 377, And Being Tall Dark And Handsome

The pageant Mr. Gay World India has risen to popularity in the past few years. This year, the winner was Suresh Ramdas, a Bengaluru-based techie. We spoke to him about his success, his thoughts on the Section 377 ruling, and his future plans: What kind of a childhood did you have? Did you grow up… Read more »

Thousands march in first Mumbai Pride since decriminalisation

Thousands of people in Mumbai have taken to the streets to celebrate the first Mumbai Pride since homosexuality was decriminalised last year. Photos shared on social media of the event show huge numbers of people taking to the streets to celebrate the LGBT+ community. The pride event has a renewed poignancy this year, as it… Read more »

Indian army’s gay sex ban will continue, says top general

This is despite gay sex becoming legal in India last year A top general in the Indian army said a ban on gay sex will stay in effect, despite the Supreme Court lifting a general ban on it last year. ‘[The Indian] Army will not allow LGBT activities in the force,’ Chief of Army Staff,… Read more »

Why legalising gay sex in India is not a Western idea

The decriminalisation of gay sex was arguably the biggest news story of 2018 in India. So, it wasn’t surprising when it became a hotly debated topic at one of the year-end parties I recently attended in Delhi. The common consensus was that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a colonial-era law has pushed the… Read more »

Protests against transgender bill erupt in India

Transgender protesters gathered outside the town hall in Bengaluru Transgender Indians on Wednesday (19 December) protested against a bill claiming to protect their rights. India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill on Monday. But, the transgender community has slammed it. They claim it infringes their rights… Read more »

The first Bangalore pride since decriminalization of homosexuality was epic

The photos of a mum and her gay son dressed in rainbow saris are beautiful One of India’s major Pride marches has wrapped up in Bangalore as revellers celebrated this year’s historic decision to decriminalize homosexuality. Thousands of people joined the 11th Namma Pride parade and danced in the streets in colorful outfits to celebrate… Read more »

Doctor to face High Court for giving electric shocks to gay people in India

Dr PK Gupta thought homosexuality was a ‘genetic mental disorder’ The Delhi High Court in India has ordered a doctor who allegedly gave gay and lesbian people electric shocks to convert them to face it. The court summoned Dr PK Gupta to face charges of violating norms and contravening the Indian Medical Council Act. Gupta… Read more »

India held its first androgynous fashion show and it looked amazing

Organizers wanted the event in Jaipur to bring gender diversity into mainstream society The inaugural Feronia Fashion Night celebrated gender diversity with androgynous collections by established and up-and-coming designers. Organizer Shruti Drolia told Gay Star News the night ‘aimed to avoid gender stereotypes ingrained in our society’. After contemplating the everyday fear gender-diverse people face,… Read more »

Trans candidate in India polls says she was held at knifepoint, drugged

Chandramukhi Muvvala went missing for 36 hours last week but has vowed to continue her election bid The only transgender candidate in the Telangana Assembly election in India said she was abducted at knifepoint and possibly drugged last week. Chandramukhi Muvvala has, however, vowed to continue campaigning, according to scroll.in. ‘Though this may affect my… Read more »

Trans Indian makes history at Delhi bodybuilding competition

Lawyer Aryan Pasha said it was his ‘dream’ to participate in the male category Indian trans hunk Aryan Pasha made history this weekend by taking second place at the Musclemania bodybuilding competition in Delhi. Aryan Pasha, an accomplished lawyer, competed in the Men’s Physique (Short) category. ‘It was my dream to participate in Men’s category’… Read more »

My court case could see Jamaica follow India and make gay sex legal

Lawyer and LGBTI activist Maurice Tomlinson is waiting for his day in court to strike down Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law The Indian Supreme Court’s historic judgement decriminalising homosexuality has given me new hope I may soon have my day in court to challenge Jamaica’s law. Few people know this – but the anti-gay law in Jamaica… Read more »

High Court in India grants lesbian couple police protection from families

The couple fled to the capital, Delhi, after facing mental and physical abuse from their parents in Rajasthan A lesbian couple in India rushed to the capital, Delhi, to seek protection from their families who disapprove of the relationship. Luckily, the Delhi High Court granted them police protection, according to local media. It is another… Read more »

Students celebrate end to India’s gay sex ban at Pondicherry’s first pride parade

After pushback from Pondicherry University, some 200 people waved flags and banners for LGBTI equality on the campus Some 200 students took the streets of Pondicherry in southeastern India for the city’s first pride parade. LGBTI advocates and allies marched through Pondicherry University holding banners and waving flags to celebrate India’s recent decriminalization of gay… Read more »

Indian court rules lesbian couple should live together

It is believed to be the first time an Indian court upheld the recent Supreme Court decision to dismantle the Section 377 and legalize gay sex The High Court of Kerala in south India on Monday ruled that a lesbian couple should live together. Importantly, the judges upheld the Supreme Court’s recent decision to dismantle… Read more »

India’s transgender population still at risk after gay sex decriminalized

While much of India’s LGBTI community may be celebrating the end of gay sex ban, transgender people in the capital have reported a surge in violence Despite a major win for the LGBTI community in India, transgender people are still vulnerable. On 6 September, India’s Supreme Court ruled that a law making gay sex illegal… Read more »

The Guardian view on gay rights: India backs freedom – others should follow

Editorial The supreme court judgment decriminalising homosexuality overturned a colonial era law. But its welcome ruling is a reminder of the work to be done elsewhere Unless you are gay, and have lived in one of the 70 or so countries where homosexuality is illegal, it is hard to imagine what it would feel like… Read more »

In over 40 countries, laws against homosexuality are a lasting legacy of British rule

After scrapping a regressive 19th century law that criminalised homosexuality, India has joined the ranks of the few former colonies to abandon a lasting legacy of British rule. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was introduced by the British in 1861, inspired by the 1553 Buggery Act that outlawed homosexuality in England. It… Read more »

India court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

In a historic decision, India’s Supreme Court has ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence. The ruling overturns a 2013 judgement that upheld a colonial-era law, known as section 377, under which gay sex is categorised as an “unnatural offence”. The court has now ruled discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation… Read more »

World’s first openly gay prince pioneers LGBT university course

India’s Manvendra Singh Gohil, who is believed to be the first openly gay prince in the world, has pioneered an LGBT+ module at Karnavati University in the western state of Gujarat. The course is reportedly the first module to focus on LGBT+ issues at a university in South Asia, according to The Times of India.… Read more »

India appoints its third transgender judge in Assam

Karachi: India’s transgender community marked another milestone in its challenging path on Saturday when Swati Bidhan Baruah was appointed as the first transgender judge in the state of Assam, Geo News reported. After taking up their new role, Judge Baruah went on to hear their first case in the Guwahati District Court (Guwahati Lok Adalat)… Read more »

Proud to be gay

A repeal of Section 377 would demonstrate that I am not a criminal but simply a normal human being. The social stigma around being gay is wrong. I told my parents I was lesbian when I was only 17 years old. They were scared for my future, concerned what people would say and worried I… Read more »

India hires trans people as bodyguards to protect women from rape

It’s a win-win situation for the trans community who need better employment opportunities A state in India has recruited the trans community to help protect women and girls living in care homes. The drastic move came after widespread reports of sexual assaults occurring at the care homes in Bihar. A shocking audit of 100 care… Read more »

Indian state takes a step forward for transgender rights

The southern Indian state of Kerala announced this month that it would reserve places for transgender students in the state’s higher education institutions, a move aimed at easing their stigmatization. The transgender community is among the most marginalized in India, with access to education and subsequently jobs mostly nonexistent, according to experts. Kerala’s move to… Read more »

Gay in India, Where Progress Has Come Only With Risk

Bilaspur, India — If you had told Ayesha Kapur 10 years ago that she would help lead the fight against one of the world’s oldest laws criminalizing gay sex, she would never have believed you. For most of her life, Ms. Kapur was afraid to ever speak of her sexuality. Growing up in New Delhi… Read more »

A 33-year-old hotelier is taking the fight for gay rights to India’s supreme court

One of India’s top hoteliers has decided to take the fight for the decriminalisation of gay sex to India’s top court. Keshav Suri, executive director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, filed a petition with the supreme court on April 23 challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises a consensual relationship… Read more »

India Gets Another Chance Protecting Transgender Rights

Revised Legislation Would Secure Legal Recognition The Indian government will introduce a revised Transgender Persons Bill in the session of parliament beginning March 5. The legislation promises to enshrine the hard-fought battle for legal recognition and access to social services for India’s transgender community – rights long denied. An earlier draft of the bill, introduced… Read more »