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History of the pride movement in India

Last Updated : 26 June 2019, 14:09 IST
Last Updated : 26 June 2019, 14:09 IST

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June is Pride Month and it's a good time to look back at the history of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) movement in India. Here's a brief timeline of the major events:

- During British rule in 1860, homosexual intercourse was considered unnatural and was declared a criminal offence under Chapter 16, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

- After independence, on Nov. 26, 1949, the right to equality was implemented under Article 14 but homosexuality remained a criminal offence.

- Decades later, on Aug. 11, 1992, the first known protest for gay rights was conducted.

- In 1999, Kolkata hosted India’s first Gay Pride Parade. The parade, with only 15 attendees, was named Calcutta Rainbow Pride.

- In 2009, a landmark Delhi High Court decision in the Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi case held that treating consensual homosexual sex between adults as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India's Constitution.

- In the Suresh Kumar Koushal and another v. NAZ Foundation and others case in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the Delhi High Court Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi case and reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

- In late 2015, MP Shashi Tharoor introduced a bill to decriminalise homosexuality but it was rejected by the Lok Sabha.

- In August 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution in the landmark Puttuswamy judgement. This gave renewed hope to LGBT activists.

- On Sept. 6, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Section 377 was unconstitutional "in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex".

The battle against Section 377 has ended but the bigger battle for equal rights for the LGBT community is still ongoing.

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Published 26 June 2019, 12:02 IST

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