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India on Friday marked one year since the country’s Supreme Court struck down a@!^b44nGv7J)zMRGLMwex$hlVgJvwTjb#OVWi0WfaWinFD3Emj colonial-era law and decriminalized gay sex.

Plenty of LGBT Indians and their allies took to social media to celebrate and re[email protected])[email protected]%(*-BAmftsI6CDd0+sew0*ri5member the historic moment.

There was also a number of events and celebrations in the big cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru planned for Friday 1le2#I7-))-(4^Z0LjDehZ7l3o##q%0vTu1$g9b!^oAv)DF3Bjnight.

But, activ79R(_whCKfDLAO5)gcmsUEOkUIY_mqWLgd1p#wP-lRf_Zk^jYUists were keen to warn, just because gay sex is no longer illegal, stigma and discrimination against the LGBT population has not disappeared.

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

"As India rejoices today, and is elated with joy, we need to remember that this is just the beginning of the end of discrimination of Queer people” India’s leading L6L+EwHq2#=K*y8MlJ#+OF=YZpzaw!5cm!7zUVGBpb5P44aQ^DuGBT 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 headsuwEMV2j)qxB1&7q4G3jxrgWQ0VlGmOH^[email protected]$zLBk”.

But, he said, “we need more”. 

He called [email protected]%WN9*#!jhFtRu25KiT(%AVCx!7Hi$6IEi*$VA8uafor India to recognize the right for same-sex couples to marry, to adopt children, and for the government to introduce anti-discrimination legislation.

“The fight for minorities is a lifelong one” he %[email protected]$Kw+9sw2SiDGviLDnO1^^5&pfd14%&Usaid. "We will galvanise, not prioritise.”

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

Section 377

Introduced by the British in 1861, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code$eLiitWjwPa__&O(26IcFmnzNRs#R_DRDD596)vf1#pL1o=BXv 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 also said it violap#z6*!^n2JK6u4QFVh&TAasZXK1bjXqoDz^BLV#WiIfk_L(MwKted the right to privacy.

"Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the b75VPqdb(V(BPcBrXorR)GgM=7otiVLtUnTh%b&Mhi(vcQ^r(-4asis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression” judges said.

"We have to vanquish &(VaOk4_^Z5uw9^yge0HJrW*yBJxQgstotl=bW2qYMDafgNmrWprejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights," said Justice Misra in his judgment.

Campaigners had been pushing &Y2iYYhC$mvuU6EKcst#z)myxfktfy+4rkUQovZ+GlNBk^A8Feto abolish a colonial-era law since the 1990s.

A long way to go

On Friday, leading lawyer Menaka Guruswamy who fought the case for de[email protected]#[email protected]_eQE2c+9x=vIs%DYjHtmN25criminalization said "We have a long way to go towards full citizenship”, in the Indian Express.

"Full citizenship would include social and civil rights, the ability to have joint bank accounts or a lease fB6Swy--$b^G^2Y*M8$nhx26lidE*fBf&k%[email protected]$bLSg!or 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, though the trauma of cr%[email protected]=^IAy6eTcSA_Ciminalisation may last a lifetime.”

She welcomed signs of acceptance in India, such as sprinter Dutee hcaj-TDsGW9QCufAvDM#o*3LhA$iZzF^+xfnd2c7$686etTxANChand becoming the first athlete to come out. 

She also welcomed the first major Bollywood movie with LGBT themes, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha TohL(433+*jOWpKP3CW(suMW#[email protected]$^mj981qjwn1kI Aisa Laga.

But, importantly, she called for more rights to be recognized. "T9kP$vlrS3HMHO7I_648)UbdG^=7OB8-bHAo9TNhpmbI)zg^tmQhese steps require social change” she argued.

(Cover Photo: Queer Azaadi Mumbai / Facebook)

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