Gay is now accepted in Asia, at least in India. In a landmark ruling Thursday the Delhi High Court ruled that treating consensual gay sex between adults as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s constitution according to Associated Press.
The ruling, the first of its kind in India, is however not binding outside New Delhi, the capital city of India. But that not hindered gay community in the city from celebrating.
News reports said gays community danced, clapped, whistled and hugged each other. Members of the Udaan Trust, an organisation which works for the health and empowerment of the marginalised community, cut a guitar shaped cake with bye-bye 377′ written on it. As they danced and sang, they prepared for a jubilation parade around the Budhwar Peth. Around 60 homosexuals and transgenders participated in the parade.
Some couples said they have plans to get married’ and lead a settled life. Gaurav Bhosle and Shabaz Sheikh is one such couple. “Though Sheikh is married and has a child, we live together. His wife and mother know about our relationship and have no objections, after the initial resistance, of course,” said Gaurav.
Another couple, Surekha Bhawe and Sushant Bhawe, have already tied a knot through Gandharva Vivah. “We now have plans to get married legally.’ We are open about our orientation and don’t mind people pointing fingers at us,” Surekha said.
Gay activist and president of the Samapathik Trust, an organisation working for sexual health of men, Bindumadhav Khire, called the judgement landmark. “It has given a boost to the gay rights movement. Now, we can confidently raise our voice against the harassment we face at the hands of police and other authorities,” he added.
A representative of the gay community, Sayyad Rauf Ahmed, also a coordinator of the Udaan Trust, said, “In spite of not being ashamed of our sexual orientation, many of us couldn’t reveal our orientation because of the harsh laws. We often fell victim of the police harassment and social alienation. But, with maturity coming into the legal system, we are expecting a change in the attitude of the people too.”
Celebration and happiness apart, the community does not expect things to change drastically. Most of them believe that there will still be inhibitions in disclosing sexual orientations because of the stigma that is prevalent in society, and it might take time for that to be uprooted.