Hundreds of LGBTI Indians and their allies took to the streets yesterday to demand equal rights and protection from discrimination in marches in the cities of New Delhi and Bangalore.
The march in the capital was part of the Delhi Queer Pride 2013 festival, while the Bangalore Pride walk was organized by India’s Campaign for Sex workers and Sexuality Minorities Rights.
The marchers in Bangalore called for the repeal of Karnataka state’s Police Act section 36(A) which criminalizes transgender people and cross dressers and for the creation an atrocities act with stringent punishment for hate crimes against sexuality minorities
The also called for India’s Supreme Court to hold Delhi high court verdict on the colonial era Section 377 buggery law, and for the Indian Government to revise current laws on adoption, marriage and inheritance to be inclusive of the LGBT community.
The event was supported by a number of international firms including IBM, Goldman Sachs and Accenture.
The marchers New Delhi activists carried a 15 meter long rainbow flag but many of the marchers covered their faces with scarves or masks to avoid being recognized by relatives or co-workers.
And not all the marchers were gay. Advertising executive Ashok Chauhan told the Associated Press that he had cycled 5 miles to take part in the march to show support for his gay friends.
‘It's a matter of choice, and I think each one of us has the right to choose,’ Chauhan told AP.