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Court in India tells police to protect lesbian couple fearing honor killing

Court in India tells police to protect lesbian couple fearing honor killing

Police on duty in Kolkata (Photo: Facebook)

A court in Kolkata, India on Tuesday (28 May) ordered police to protect to a lesbian couple who have faced death threats from family members, according to local media.

The pair’s lawyer said the couple had moved in with one of the women’s parents after the other’s father, brother, and other family members had threatened to kill them.

Despite India’s landmark decriminalization of gay sex in September last year, the LGBTI community remains at risk of violence and discrimination from a largely conservative society.

The lawyer told the court his clients were 28 and 29 were entitled to protection under the Supreme Court ruling.

A bench judge ordered Kolkata police to post a picket outside their house. He ruled police must provide ‘adequate protection’ so they could feel safe.

‘What is your government doing? Why are the petitioners living in fear?’ The judge asked government lawyers, according to the Telegraph India.

Violence in India

Indian Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex in September 2018.

Five Supreme Court judges ruled Section 377 of the Penal Code was unconstitutional. It had punished gay sex with up 10 years in prison.

Judges also said it violated the right to privacy.

But not everyone in India welcomed the ruling. Campaigners said decriminalization in the courts was just the beginning of LGBTI equality.

It will take a long time for society’s attitudes to change, they say.

But, there have been at least three court cases in which judges have ruled in favor of same-sex couples and demanded they be protected.

Earlier this month, Professional sprinter Dutee Chand became India’s first out professional athlete when she revealed she was bisexual and in a relationship with a woman.

‘I have found someone who is my soul mate,’ Dutee told The Sunday Express.

She told press that her family disapproved of her relationship.

See also

Hundreds of trans Indians take to the polls, but turnout is still low 

What might a Narendra Modi re-election mean for LGBTI Indians? 

India: Three men arrested after alleged rape of trans women at knifepoint