The Evolution Of India's LGBT Movement, In Pictures

11/12/2014 6:41 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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Demonstrators carry a nearly 15-meter- (50-foot-) long, rainbow-colored banner at the 5th Delhi Queer Pride parade in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. Hundreds of gay rights activists marched through New Delhi on Sunday to demand that they be allowed to lead lives of dignity in India's deeply conservative society.(AP Photo/ Mustafa Quraishi)

A decade-long legal battle waged by the LGBT community reached an anti-climax on Dec. 11, 2013 when the Supreme Court outlawed gay sex by upholding the colonial-era Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

We trace the legal action and the LGBT movement from the first gay pride parade in Kolkata in 1999 to the parade that happened in Delhi last month despite the atmosphere of anxiety forged by the Supreme Court order.

  • July 1999
    SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images
    India's first LGBT pride parade was in Kolkata. Subsequently, gay pride parades spread across the country.
  • December 2001
    An NGO fighting for gay rights, Naz Foundation files PIL seeking legalisation of gay sex among consenting adults.
  • September - November 2004
    Delhi High Court dismisses the PIL seeking decriminalisation of gay sex. The gay right activists file review petition. The HC dismisses the review plea.
  • December 2004
    Gay rights activists approach the apex court against the order of the High Court.
  • April 2006
    The apex court directs the HC to reconsider the matter on merit and remands the case back to High Court.
  • September 2008
    Centre seeks more time to take stand on the issue after the contradictory stand between the Home and Health ministries over decriminalisation of homosexuality. The gay rights activists contend that the government The Court pulls up the Centre for speaking in two voices on the homosexuality law in view of contradictory affidavits filed by Health and Home ministries.cannot infringe upon their fundamental right to equality by decriminalising homosexual acts on the ground of morality. Centre says that gay sex is immoral and a reflection of a perverse mind and its decriminalisation would lead to moral degradation of society.
  • October 2008
    The High Court pulls up the Centre for relying on religious texts to justify ban on gay sex and asks it to come up with scientific reports to justify it.
  • July 2009
    The Court refuses the plea and final argument in the case begins. Delhi High Court strikes down Section 377 of IPC, decriminalising homosexuality.
  • February 2012
    The Indian Home Ministry opposes decriminalization of homosexuality, calling it "immoral." Within days, the Central Government reverses its stance saying there's no illegality in decriminalizing homosexual intercourse.
  • December 2013
    The Supreme Court of India reverses High Court decision.
  • January 2014
    Supreme Court dismisses review petition filed by the Central Government and non-profits.
  • April 2014
    Supreme Court declares transgender people as a socially & economically backward class, entitled to reservations in education and employment.
  • May 2014

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