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The LGBT Movement in India

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Danish Sheikh

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of The LGBT Movement in India


Naz Foundation
v. Union of India

Judicial Interpretation
Emergence of
Queer Activism

From the High Court to the Supreme Court
Open Letter, 2006

To the Government of India, Members of the Judiciary, and All Citizens,

To build a truly democratic and plural India, we must collectively fight against laws and policies that abuse human rights and limit fundamental freedoms.

This is why we, concerned Indian citizens and people of Indian origin, support the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial-era law dating to 1861, which punitively criminalizes romantic love and private, consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex.
Leela Namdeo weds Urmila Srivastava, 1988:

Two women from a rural background serving in the Madhya Pradesh constabulary, decided to get married at a temple.
AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan Protest, 1992:

The first notable gay rights protest in India, primarily
a demonstration against police harassment.
Fire, 1998
Lucknow Raids, 2001:

first on a public park frequented by the MSM community, and next on the offices of two NGOs working on safe sex issues that led to the arrest of a total of ten people.
It is some times argued that this indicates that Section 377 does not do as much harm as we, the protesters, tend to think. What has to be borne in mind is that whenever any behaviour is identified as a penalizable crime, it gives the police and other law enforcement officers huge power to harass and victimize some people. The harm done by an unjust law like this can, therefore, be far larger than would be indicated by cases of actual prosecution.

Amartya Sen

Vikram Seth, author;
Swami Agnivesh;
Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney-General;
Aditi Desai, sociologist;
Nitin Desai, former UN Under-Secretary General;
Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, freedom fighter,
Padma Vibhushan;
Siddharth Dube, author
Pride Marches

Naz Foundation

Voices Against 377

Union of India
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Home Affairs
B.P. Singhal
Extract from the hearings:

Mr. Sharma: "Homosexuals enjoy group sex and even enjoy committing violence."
Shah, C.J.: "What is the relevance of this point?"
Mr. Sharma: "Anus is not designed by nature for any intercourse and if the penis enters the rectum, victim is found to get injury.
Shah, C.J.: "Has this submission that the act itself causes injury been argued before?"
Mr. Sharma: "Drink and drugs are employed to obtain consent and increase enthusiasm, there is genital torture on anus, testis, blood letting, burning of penis"

Mr. Sharma continued to emphasize that homosexuals indulge in group sex.

C.J. Shah (visibly exasperated) asked "If it was based on personal knowledge that Mr. Sharma knows that homosexuals enjoy group sex?"
Suresh Kumar Koshal v. Naz Foundation

Suresh Kumar Koushal
Apostolic Churches Alliance
All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board
Krantikari Manuvadi Morcha
Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights
Joint Action Kannur

Parents of LGBT Persons
Mental Health Professionals
Law Academics
Shyam Benegal
Mapping the Possibilities
The movie was greeted with a storm of protests and attacks on cinema halls screening the film. It ran to packed houses, and inspired counter-protests in its defense as well.
As of 2013, upto 10 Indian cities have had pride marches.
Queen Empress v. Khairati, 1884
D.P. Minwalla v. Emperor, 1935
Nowshirwan v. Emperor, 1934
Khanu v. Emperor, 1925
Lohana Vasantlal v. The State, 1968
Privacy and Dignity
Equality and Non-Discrimination
Constitutional Morality
Privacy and Dignity
Equality and Non-Discrimination
Constitutional Morality
Full transcript