Chennai celebrated the 10th edition of the pride parade on Sunday, with hundreds taking to the streets to demand equal rights for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community. In a show of strength, residents gathered at Rajarathinam Stadium in Egmore and marched with rainbow flags and posters which read ‘love is too beautiful to be hidden in a closet’, ‘the power of black in my rainbow’ and ‘queer and proud’ among other slogans.
Several cities in India organise annual pride parades. New Delhi, last November, held its 10th edition.
In India, Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalises same-sex relations “against the order of nature”, is under judicial review. In January this year, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court decided to revisit its December 2013 order upholding the constitutional validity of Section 377.
The bench noted that “a section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear” and “societal morality also changes from age to age”.
June is globally celebrated as Pride Month, with thousands of people marching in several cities around the world. Sunday also saw marches in cities in the US, including New York and San Francisco. The movement, which began in 1970 in Chicago, is to demand legal rights, such as same-sex marriage, and dignity for the LGBTQ community. It was first organised in response to police raids on the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village, a popular gay bar, on June 28, 1969.
There are over 70 countries which hold annual pride events. Some of the more famous ones include the Madrid Gay Pride, which will be held on July 7, the Sao Paulo Gay Pride, which was held on June 3 and the San Francisco Gay Pride, which was held yesterday. While June is celebrated as Pride Month, events are usually held between June and August.