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India’s opposition party claims to take LGBTI issues ‘seriously’

India’s opposition party claims to take LGBTI issues ‘seriously’

Priya Dutt (standing in purple) of the Indian National Congress (Photo: Facebook)

A leader of India’s opposition party the Indian National Congress (INC) said the party took LGBTI rights seriously.

The world’s largest democracy kicked off its mammoth general election last week. More than 900 million people will head to the polls over the next month.

Priya Dutt met with the LGBTI community while campaigning in Mumbai on Sunday (21 April).

She said the INC’s manifesto included LGBTI rights and the party president felt ‘strongly’ about it.

This will trickle down to the bottom of the party, she said.

‘I am cool about queer rights and so are my kids’ she told the crowds gathered, according to the Hindu.

‘Some parties have a divisive mindset, such as moral policing’ she also said.

She recognized different ‘factions’ of the LGBTI community but said ‘there has to be a closeness if we have to fight’.

She invited LGBTI people to be part of the party but rejected the need for a separate queer wing.

India’s elections

This year’s elections are the most LGBTI-inclusive yet.

For the first time, homosexual Indians will head to the polls without being regarded as a criminal after India’s Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex in a landmark ruling last year.

What’s more, transgender Indians are able to register to vote as a third gender after.

A record number of LGBTI citizens are running for seats in parliament.

INC included LGBTI issues, such as anti-discrimination legislation, same-sex marriage, and a transgender rights bill, in their manifesto.

What’s more, renowned LGBTI activist, Harish Iyer, joined the party last week.