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Indian lesbians come out of closet

Indian lesbians come out of closet

Two college students from southern India’s Kerala, the state famed for its spices and spas, have declared their sexual orientation publicly after hitting the headlines over a kidnap charge by their families.

Dismissing the charge as false, the two women, both in their early 20s, addressed a press conference in neighboring Bangalore city on Saturday, saying they had left home and come to the city voluntarily.

The press meet was necessitated by the father of one of the young women filing a police complaint, saying his daughter had been kidnapped by a lesbian with the help of Sangama, an LGBT rights organization in Bangalore.

The complaint is said to have been made after the families tried to break up the relationship between the two women. One of the families is said to have tried to get the girl forcibly married to a man in a bid to avoid the social stigma same-sex relationships continue to trigger in conservative India.

Though police stopped investigating the complaint after the pair gave them a statement saying they had reached the age of consent and would not return to their parental home, the thwarted father filed a habeas corpus in Kerala High Court.

Elavarthi Manohar, founder of Sangama, also addressed the press meet, saying the women were adults who “have a right to decide on their own”. Manohar said Sangama would continue supporting them.

BT Venkatesh, Sangama’s legal advisor, said the petition filed against Sangama and one of the women was misleading and they would present the facts at the court Tuesday.