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India: ’Queer movement has to look beyond LGBT rights’ (report in The Times of India)

2 November 2015

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The Times of India

’Queer movement has to look beyond LGBT rights’

Arun Dev | TNN | Oct 24, 2015, 04.40 AM IST

BENGALURU: "The LGBT community should have been out on the streets after two dalit boys were killed or a dalit man was burned for entering a temple. Sexuality is just part of the movement, there is much more to do," said Sumathi Murthy, a musician and LGBT activist.

Murthy was speaking at a modest community hall on Infantry Road, where the LGBT community had gathered on Friday to look back at the movement in the city - ’In the name of pride’. They felt they could no longer restrain themselves to the cause of LGBT rights.

"Why is it important for the LGBT community to look beyond itself? Because the notion of unnatural in our country is broader than just sexuality," said Arvind Narrain, the Geneva director of ARC International and founder-member, Alternative Law Forum. "In India when we talk about the idea of what is against the order of nature, it’s not just sexuality. Even inter-caste and inter-religious relationships are under attack. A person’s right to love is under attack," he said.

Although not in favour of the LGBT community, the 2013 Supreme Court verdict is an opportunity. "In the early 2000s, section 377 was something only law students spoke about, in fact it was hardly discussed. But now, after the verdict, people are talking about section 377," said Akkai Padmashal, a prominent LGBT activist.

"Cynicism is a sin for the movement," said Arvind, adding that if they had been fighting for civil rights, they would have achieved their goal by now.

"We have laws to curb atroc ities against women and kids. But that hasn’t ended their plight. Our fight will continue," added Sumathi.


The above article from The Times of India is reproduced here for educational and non commercial use