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India on Friday marked one year since the country’s Supreme Court struck down a colonial-era l8*DhMJqDLsX6Q)4qq^H3xdzt&-3hcRw&!gz7^kVwFj_n6wuPtVaw and decriminalized gay sex.

Plenty of LGBT Indv-rx&2zR39ffW3c^V!=sDKBN-mD=EB+k!_U!rbpQhe*Pq=kWM_ians and their allies took to social media to celebrate and remember the historic moment.

There was also a number of events and celebrations in the big cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and (9DpJKX&PV0k*[email protected]=rw%RJs-YXT7otf%#MDI2oTRBengaluru planned for Friday night.

But, activists were keen to warn, just because gay sex is no longer illegal, stigma and discrimi_xtaSDrSN-rIaMUUjA9it7iM)8v#2u&K2QROIaG$#2JeCLFU18nation against the LGBT population has not disappeared.

“We will fly now, not flap our rainbow wings"

"As India rejoices today, and is elated w8etrutXcH%O6AfO7&oF&cBp8egaNoauWz+eUyl1Fqr=kU(Sx+Sith joy, we need to remember that this is just the beginning of the end of discrimination of Queer people” India’s leading LGBT activist, Harish Iyer, told GaLaTai.

"We have won the right to make love as adults in private without the sword of the law hanging over our heaUdmHp!oM8gi7rU9GjvN#[email protected])C9IG_ds”.

But, he said, “we need more”. 

He called for India to recognize the right for same-sex couples tol1lJ%!U#x*Y^[email protected]!)zA*z80WqbG7)J=vjVV+*LMCij^Vyu- marry, to adopt children, and for the government to introduce anti-discrimination legislation.

“The fight for minorities is a lifelong one” he said. "We will galvanise, not prioriM#[email protected])6EKgna)rFQy+7f_0(@U=Eu+I=Y8Vmhn_tise.”

"We will fly now, not flap our rainbow wings.”

Section 377

Intr[email protected]d9F(ucXx3-(qpSyKwJ%0r4oduced by the British in 1861, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code outlawed ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal’.

It punished gay sex with up to 10 years in prison.

Judges in September last year, ruled it was unconstitutional. They alsouPmBEIiNmSEVzD_HBxvAf#[email protected]!Q^VRAdAd(X7VU6$W said it violated the right to privacy.

"Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a vio5Pkj33zk6YrxrHBe$t+hZV$K_0=r5uY6whtaL2cL94x%Omf4J&lation of Freedom of Expression” judges said.

"We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights," said Justice Misra in his ju[email protected])#_OmrwaQ0QNarJaGEdgtlcL1u2jBmirgc1Cusd+t6&Bdgment.

Campaigners had been pushti#w%0u&-zr)Qg=(FfGo%[email protected][email protected]@HNe2ing to abolish a colonial-era law since the 1990s.

A long way to go

On Friday, leading lawyer Menaka Guruswamy who fought the case for decriminalization said "We have a long way to*Zt^hL^L_(ezWyNvW#p0xd_([email protected]+5t-Rm0*7*i2!rzj go towards full citizenship”, in the Indian Express.

"Full citizenship would include social and civil rights, @t=u=luKY6Z*0r_Vm5_KLXVYfK^[email protected]=FN0cpm1M2fsz_the ability to have joint bank accounts or a lease for a home or marriage to a partner.”

Her partner, lawyer Arundhati Katju, said: "The moment of freedom has been savoured, the shift begun from a mentality of fear to the confidence to assert citizenship rights, thoug!6y6tLAr*w)isa$*p9pDAjDoRXs&lzN1Az2AUjjPutO_6QPrynh the trauma of criminalisation may last a lifetime.”

She welcomed signs of acceptancec^VRgi6bZxZ0mg!)TFI-7gSoa*ryEy_IPJtqi!)[email protected]&^ in India, such as sprinter Dutee Chand becoming the first athlete to come out. 

She also welcomed the-x)FkpuLSV4XWUbo!e!I&PWI^BRCrnHcri=Y-VbO)0+2t)h4vP first major Bollywood movie with LGBT themes, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.

But, importantly, she called for more rights to be recognized.jqwoyRx6I3R4^*0sGU7vrJIl^2&4^Ho(804+J0J#[email protected] "These steps require social change” she argued.

(Cover Photo: Queer Azaadi Mumbai / Facebook)

Drinking Buddies invites LGBTQ members of different sexes and gender identities as well as LGBT allies to play "answer the question or take a shot of vodka." The show aims to showcase the true definition of love and the diverse relationships among the rainbow families. Love will not change simply because of one's sexual orientation or gender identity.

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