‘It is a new look. It’s a new attitude. You might wonder where the old way of living has gone. But who is worried about who like what, as long as in the world of love two people want to be with each other.’
With some words of encouragement the matriarch of an Indian family welcomed home a gay member of the family and his partner.
Free & Equal, the United Nations Human Rights Office’s initiative to push for LGBT rights around the world, has released a new music video in support of gender equality in India.
The music video, released this week, is titled The Welcome and opens with an Indian family preparing for a son to arrive with his ‘special friend’.
When he shows up holding hands with another man, the family initially reacts shocked, but soon seem to hear the lyrics of the song and welcome the gay couple with open arms.
The video stars actress and former Miss India Celina Jaitly, who last year was nominated as a UN equality champion for her support of LGBT equality.
‘It is an honor to partner with the United Nations on the incredibly timely and important Free & Equal campaign, said Jaitly in a statement.
‘I have been working for LGBT rights for many years, and I am honored to contribute my musical debut to such a good cause. Music is a universal language. It can engage people’s passion, and that’s when good things happen.’
The video comes on the heels of India’s Supreme Court’s decision to recriminalize homosexuality in December 2013.
The Supreme Court caused a global outcry by re-installing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, originally enacted in 1860 by the British colonial regime, to criminalize gay or lesbian sex, punishable with life imprisonment.
Numerous human rights groups and activists have protested the decision, with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a contest in court this month.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed her confidence that India would change its anti-gay laws.
‘LGBT people have historically been marginalized and subjected to discrimination and violence in India, as elsewhere. But change is coming.
‘In the past few months we have seen an unprecedented level of public debate relating to the rights of LGBT people. As awareness grows, attitudes will change. We need to do all we can to hasten change by challenging the myths and misinformation that get in the way of understanding. That is what this campaign is all about.’
To see the full music video, click on the YouTube clip below: