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The year 2014, when NCRB had started collecting data on cases related to Section 377, had seen 1148 FIRs filed under "unnatural offences". In 2015, 1347 FIRs were filed under this category. Of the 1347 cases, trials were held for only 378, of which 175 culminated in conviction and 203 ended in acquittal or discharge of the accused.
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Indian leaders were shocked at the killings, true, but what is also true is that they were not shocked by the underlying homophobia. By completely erasing the mention of LGBT people in their statements and refusing to condemn the homophobia behind the massacre, they have proven that they will remain blind to the plight of LGBTs in India and the world over.
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I had been trying to avoid it for hours last night but couldn't escape it any longer, as it was all over social media. "Xulhaz Mannan, 35, the editor at Bangladesh's first LGBT magazine <em>Roopbaan</em>, along with Tonoy Mahbub, a fellow activist, was hacked to death." Many news reports read like this and I was left wondering on how to process that piece of information. I went back to the countless Facebook conversations where Xulhaz and I had talked about our mutual struggles...
The film beautifully encompasses the complex dynamics of the Kapoor family, the secrets, the betrayals, the flaring angers as well as the bond of love that ties everyone together. Sounds familiar? Well, because it is. Yet, there is something different about this movie which makes you watch with interest (even the corny songs).
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The past week has been full of turmoil in India. But what has been most troubling is the reaction of many queer people who have joined the chorus of lynch mobs. We protest against a colonial law like Section 377 which has been used to harass and blackmail. We must also protest against Sec 124-A (Sedition), another colonial law which was and still is a tool for harassment. Today, we either stand with JNU, or risk our own freedom.
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The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) recently decided to not honour Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne during her visit to the Golden Temple because of her support for same-sex marriage. Wynne is also openly lesbian. SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar even said, "Offering her (Wynne) a <em>siropa</em> would be against Sikh ethics." It must be pointed out that they have not specified the theological basis of their decision. Alas, their own biases and homophobia are passed off as "Sikh ethics".
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Starting today, thousands of LGBT people will start coming together across the country to hold vigils to remind the Supreme Court that the curative petition on Section 377 before it isn't a mere document -- it contains the hopes and aspirations of countless people who are fighting for their right to live with dignity and respect. But this isn't our "last hope". It cannot be, considering how far we have come in just a few decades, despite legislative inaction and judicial dalliance.
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The focus of the Pride for many years has been the repeal of Section 377 and the demand for dignity for people of diverse gender and sexuality expressions in public and private spaces. But such a struggle cannot be isolated from other forms of violent suppression of rights -- be it centred around caste, class, religion, disability or the ability to express dissent.
We're oppressed and discriminated against for who we are. It's been happening for a long, long time now. But today, it's not just us the current government is going after. The BJP and the Prime Minister have made you a direct target and you should feel as angry as we do about the current state of affairs.
By Dhrubo Jyoti It was a happy ending for an NRI transperson who was illegally detained and hounded by family after the Delhi High Court on Monday upheld his rights and said human rights were inaliena...
It was really interesting to see how the country cheered when Mr. Modi met Tim Cook and invited him to set up a manufacturing base in India. The latter came out as gay in 2014, and Apple is a staunch supporter of gay rights. A lot of the other companies that our Prime Minister is inviting are pro-LGBT as well. Now the question arises, with so much talk about reforms to make the business in India simpler and easier, would the government also come clean on regressive laws like Section 377?