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South Asians Rally Against the Criminalization of Gay Sex in India

Sunday, December 15, 2013

WNYC
Supporters of gay rights at the "Global Day of Rage" rally at Union Sqaure. (Sarah Gonzalez/WNYC)

New York is among cities across the U.S. participating in what has been deemed a "Global Day of Rage" in response to India’s Supreme Court decision last week that re-criminalizes gay sex.

The decision in India reinstated Sec. 377 — overturning a lower court ruling that legalized gay sex back in 2009.

Same-sex intercourse is now punishable by up to a decade in prison.

South Asian LGBTQIA and supporters gathered at Union Square Sunday chanting and stomping as a "sign of our rage." It was followed by spoken word, poem readings and a candlelight vigil.  

Avinash Rajagopal was among the crowd. He left India four years ago — just before gay sex was made legal.

“It was really one of the most brilliant interpretations of the Indian constitution,” Rajagopal said. “And I keep a copy of that judgment on the desktop of my laptop.” 

He says India’s decision to uphold its 153-year-old ban on gay sex is a step in the wrong direction for the world’s largest democracy. 

The Colonial-era law was implemented by the British. India's Supreme Court ruled that only the legislature could change the law, not a court.

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