Approximately two dozen gay men and lesbians protested in New Delhi earlier today in response to the recent arrest of four men at a secret gay club. Authorities say the men were having public sex, a charge that the activists deny. Said one activist: “The entire case is fabricated. None of the men were having public sex. They have been arrested simply because they are homosexual.”
The incident has fueled international criticism of India’s policies toward homosexuality. This week, UNAIDS and other organizations condemned the intolerant policies, saying, among other things, that they help boost the AIDS epidemic in that country.
It was reported today that on Monday a young lesbian tried to take her life by taking insecticide. Family members had reportedly rejected her same-sex union and beat her after a “marriage-like ceremony” took place.
A law against homosexual sex was adopted by India in 1861, and it is still punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Said activist Pramado Menon: “I am queer and I know how difficult it is. We have to hide our lives.”
India’s Barbers at Forefront of AIDS Battle [tr]