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'Dragon Age: Inquisition' Video Game Banned in India Over Gay Sex Scenes

Dorian

Indian gamers excited about the hotly anticipated Dragon Age: Inquisition will be disappointed to hear the fantasy role-playing game will not be coming to the country after publishers cancelled pre-orders over concerns about its "gay" content, NDTV reports:

InquisitionThe distributor for the game, Milestone Interactive said that this refers to the game's homosexual sex scenes. Rather than face the wrath of some of India's more prudish segments of society, EA have pre-emptively decided to make the game unavailable in India, without confirming or commenting on which local laws were being breached. [...]

Dragon Age II had only four character romances. They were all bisexual so players had some sort of choice. With Inquisition there are a lot more options. It sports the series' first fully gay character, Dorian, that players have the option to romance. The developer Bioware has gone with more options in terms of romances for Inquisition. There are straight, bisexual, and gay character romances because they each tell different stories.

Last week, developer David Gaider was asked in an interview about his thoughts on writing the character Dorian and said the following:

Dorian is gay—he is, in fact, the first fully gay character I've had the opportunity to write. It added an interesting dimension to his back story, considering he comes from a place where "perfection" is the face that every mage puts on and anything that smacks of deviancy is shameful and meant to be hidden. Dorian's refusal to play along with that façade is seen as stubborn and pointless by his family, which has contributed to his status as a pariah....I suppose this aspect of Dorian will make him controversial in some corners, but I was glad to include it. It made writing Dorian a very personal experience for me, and I'm hopeful that will make him seem like a fully realized character to fans in the end.

Backin 2009, the original game in the series Dragon Age: Origins made headlines for featuring a secret gay sex scene


Indian Talk Show Hosts LGBT Guests, Inspires Millions to Take Action Against Anti-gay Laws: VIDEO

Gazal Dhaliwal

It's not often that a video can incite a major shift in collective cultural opinion, but India's "Satyamev Jayate" nighttime talk show managed to achieve just that. Indian actor and GLAAD Global Voices advocate Aamir Khan hosted the show and had guests covering a variety of the LGBT spectrum, including Deepak Kashyap who once considered suicide, and transgender woman Gazal Dhaliwal and her parents.

Supporting the guests were psychoanalysts who stressed the importance of parental support during the coming out process, a doctor who confirmed that homosexuality is not a disease and therefore not "curable", and a lawyer who went into the details of how India's anti-gay laws came to be.

As a result of all of this, 1.7 MILLION people called into the show to protest India's anti-gay laws and the Twitter hashtag #FreedomForLGBT became the top post on Twitter globally.

You can watch the subtitled episode AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indian Talk Show Hosts LGBT Guests, Inspires Millions to Take Action Against Anti-gay Laws: VIDEO" »


India Gets First Transgender TV News Anchor: VIDEO

Padmini-prakash-transgender-news-anchor

In another milestone for transgender people in India, a transwoman named Padmini Prakash, 31, has been hired as a news anchor.

Working up to this career, Prakash has held jobs as a dance instructor and soap opera actress, and she's also participated in transgender beauty pageants.

Prakash has worked for Lotus News in the Indian state Tamil Nadu since last August. One of her earliest breaks moving up the ladder came with a promotion to do the channel's daily 7 p.m. special bulletin, a hire motivated largely by Prakash's popularity with viewers.

But, despite this success story, Prakash says she's faced discrimination all her life, even cutting ties with family due to "pressure."

In a quote to the Times of India (via GLAAD), Prakash describes her anxiety in becoming an on-air anchor:

I was very worried because I also had to focus on my diction and maintain a steady narrative pace to ensure that there was clarity and viewers could understand me.

Check out video of Prakash in action, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "India Gets First Transgender TV News Anchor: VIDEO" »


Indian Government Objects to Supreme Court Ruling Recognizing Trans People As Third Gender

India's government is asking the country's Supreme Court to reconsider its landmark ruling back in April recognizing transgender people as a third gender, The Wall Street Journal reports:

IndiaThe government — led by the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party, which has deep roots in the country’s Hindu nationalist movement — said in an application to the Supreme Court that the transgender ruling “may pose problems both practically and politically” and asked for clarifications and changes.

The application complained that the court’s finding that the term transgender people can also apply to gay, lesbian and bisexual Indians, “seeks to create an ambiguity.” 

It also argued that on procedural grounds it would “not be proper” for the court to classify the transgender community as part of India’s backward classes, which are eligible for affirmative-action benefits.

Additionally, the government asked that the court to clarify the definition of "transgender." Approximately two million people are said to be transgender, or hijira, in India.

Homosexuality, meanwhile, is still criminalized in India after a stunning Supreme Court ruling last year. The Indian government has announced it has no plans to amend the newly reinstated law criminalizing homosexuality until the Supreme Court settles the issue. 


Moovz Gay Social Network Hires Out Actor Nakshatra Bagwe To Make Push For India

Bagwe

Moovz, a social network for gay men, has just signed Mumbai-based actor Nakshatra Bagwe as one of its international brand ambassadors. Bagwe, 23, came out publicly last year at India’s first LGBT-oriented flashmob, a decision that brought him to the attention of the Indian media and inspired him to begin filming a documentary about being gay in India. His modest rise to fame for coming out brought the young filmmaker’s project to the international independent film circuit

“The night I came home with my trophy my mother was waiting for me,” Bagwe said of winning his first award. “In the same dining room where I had my coming out five years before, she told me how proud she was of me.”

Launched in early January of this year, Moovz is built on the premise of encouraging its users to be open about who they are. Unlike hookup applications like Grindr and Hornet or web platforms like Adam4Adam, Moovz’s desktop and mobile applications are meant to foster community growth.

“This revolutionary platform enables users to share their own content, chat in real-time, and interact with others,” Moovz CEO Liav Eliash told the Huffington Post. “We believe that providing our Moovz platform for people around the globe who already have things in common will enable them to interact on a higher level and connect as a community."

Moovz’s move into India comes at an interesting time in the country’s position on its LGBT population. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes sexual acts "against the order of nature" like homosexuality, was declared as unconstitutional by the High Court of Delhi in 2009. India’s Supreme Court overturning the decision in 2013, asserting that any repeal of 377 would be a matter to be dealt with by Parliament rather than the judiciary body.

"[Moovz has] identified a big target group here and that the LGBT community is not any 'miniscule' section," Bagwe told the Hindustan Times. “It's time for us to come out as well and not feel shy about our sexuality.”

Watch a trailer for the Moovz social network AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Moovz Gay Social Network Hires Out Actor Nakshatra Bagwe To Make Push For India" »


Indian Government Moves to Axe Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Couples

India's Cabinet has decided to bar same-sex couples in the country from adopting children, Live Mint reports:

IndiaThe cabinet took the decision on Wednesday while considering amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, a government official said. However, the draft Bill, which also covers rehabilitation and adoption of children, does not mention disallowing same-sex couples from adopting.

The current law allows unmarried men and women above the age of 30 to adopt. Single LGBT Indians are not specifically barred from adopting, but whether the cabinet decision will change this will become clear whenever the Bill is tabled in Parliament.

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) guidelines prevent foreigners in same-sex relationships from adopting children in India.

Last year, India's Supreme Court reinstated a colonial-era ban on homosexuality with the Indian government saying last month they have no plans to amend or change the law until it is reviewed again by the high court.  


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