Petition Filed By Prominent Gay Celebrities Referred To Chief Justice of India.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said the matter will be listed before a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India for appropriate orders.

“Let the constitutional bench decide the main matter,” the bench said as it passed on the matter to Chief Justice HL Dattu.

The Chief Justice will now decide if the petition is to be heard along with the curative petition already pending with the Supreme Court.

Chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and dancer NS Johar , had approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking protection of their sexual rights on the ground that it is an integral part of the fundamental right to life.

 

 

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Indian Marketing App Offers Free Photoshoot for Indian same-sex Couples

Promoting Equal love,  Indian app UrbanClap app is giving away free photo shoots to five LGBT couples, as an effort to support gay rights in India. It recently released a beautiful short film about a lesbian’s struggle with getting acceptance from her father.
The easiest way to reach out to Urbanclap is to tag UrbanClap on facebook or with the hashtag #Comeoutforyourphotoshoot on twitter or simply write to suhailv@urbanclap.com.
“We believe that everyone should have the right to love whoever they want to, as it’s the most basic human right, yet denied to many,” UrbanClap co-founder Abhiraj Bhal said. “We firmly stand with the LGBT community in India as they fight for their equal rights in the eyes of law and society.”
 
The app’s insiders also assured users that the identities of the couples chosen do not have to be revealed if they wish to remain private.
 
“The reason for offering these photo shoots to same-sex couples was for them to be able to capture their moments together and create memories,” another UrbanClap spokesperson added. “While we’re not saying people should use these to come out publicly, as many have chosen not to, but to share these moments with their close friends and family.”
Check out the short film here:
So, what are you waiting for?
Come out for your photoshoot !
 

Gay Celebrities File Petition In SC, Hearing Tomorrow!

A petition by dancer NS Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur will be taken up for hearing by the Supreme Court on June 29.

The significance of this petition is that it has been filed by LGBT individuals themselves. The petition also marks a public admission of their sexual preferences by certain members of the LGBT community.

The petition’s first paragraph is a bold declaration: “The petitioners are lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT) citizens of India whose rights to sexuality, sexual autonomy, choice of sexual partner, life, privacy, dignity and equality, along with the other fundamental rights guaranteed under Part-III of Constitution, are violated by Section 377.”

Union Minister for Law and Justice Sadananda Gowda said the decision in this regard will be taken by the Supreme Court on what stand the Central Government needs to take as the matter is subjudice.

“Our lives have been inexorably constricted and our rights infringed by Section 377. Despite our achievements and contributions to India in various fields, we are being denied the right to sexuality, the most basic and inherent of fundamental rights. Section 377 renders us criminals in our own country. Section 377 criminalises the very existence of LGBT people by criminalising their sexuality, an attribute which is as inherent and intrinsic to a person as their race or gender. Sexuality lies at the core of a human being’s persona. Sexual expression, in whatever form, between consenting adults in the privacy of a home ought to receive protection of fundamental rights.”

According to TOI report,  Congress leader and prominent lawyer Kapil Sibal, and Arvind Datar will argue for the petitioners in court. The 716-page petition, including annexures, has been drafted by a team of lawyers including Saurabha Kripal, Arundhati Katju, Himanshu Suman and Menaka Guruswamy.

The SC had also accepted a curative petition filed  by Naz foundation and referred the issue to a 5-judge bench, saying that ‘important constitutional issues’ have been raised in the curative petition.

Classic Hindu Wedding of Neeral And Aniruddha

Dr. Neeral Sheth and Dr. Aniruddha Hazra tied the knot on June 4 in Chicago in a classic Hindu wedding ceremony. Neeral is Gujarati and Anu is Bengali. They first met in 2006. After 8 and a half years together, Anu proposed on Neeral’s 30th birthday.

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Their parents came to the US in 80s. They supported and accepted their sons with love and celebrated their marriage with joy. Their families in India has been amazingly supportive — from grandmother to cousins. Both Neeral and Anu had family members fly to the US just for their wedding. The couple was overwhelmed with this outpouring of love and support. They are really proud of them for not shying away and celebrating this amazing time with them.

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Neeral’s brother gave a speech describing Anu as another older brother and taking a few playful jabs of humor at Neeral’s expense. Neeral’s mama and mami also gave a touching speech, again welcoming Anu to the family. Anu’s mom made her own rossgullas and chom-choms which were served as dessert with the wedding cake. After dinner, Neeral and Anu had their first dance which was then followed by a mother-son dance to the song ‘Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye’ which Neeral’s mom had chosen.

 

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A graha shanti puja was organized the day before the wedding with a fully catered Gujarati lunch. Sangeet and Garba was a lot of fun! There were henna artists there to let everyone get mehndi.

Marriage is a beautiful time when two souls start to share one heart. Wishing two very special men a lifetime of happiness.

‪#‎PrideGroom‬ ‪#‎IndianCouple‬ ‪#‎LoveisLove‬ ‪#‎DesiWedding‬ ‪#‎GayWedding‬‪#‎gaycouple‬ ‪#‎IndianGayWedding‬

Photos: Matushek Photography.

Celebrities who have come out of the closet in 2016.

 

Coming Out is not easy- even in Western countries, but these days, celebrities are feeling increasingly encouraged to come out of closet. A number of actors, models, players, singers, and politicians have come out of the closet this year so far. And this number is surely gonna increase by the end of this year.  We really wish to add some Indian in the list.

See how these genuine celebs  revealed their sexual orientation with pride and inspired billions of people.

1. Daniel Rodriguez- Mr. Spain 2016.

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Newly crowned Mr Spain has come out as gay, just days after winning the crown, beating 47 other men to be crowned International Mister Spain. Daniel Rodriguez made history by becoming the competition’s first gay winner.

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During an interview with ABC, Rodriguez said he never spoke about his sexuality during the competition because he “didn’t see it as a reason why I couldn’t claim the title”. However, he was quick to dismiss criticism from those who claim a gay man should not be eligible to win the competition.

“I don’t understand why. A homosexual can be as masculine as a heterosexual,” he said.

2.   Víctor Gutiérrez – Water polo star

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Victor Gutierrez

Spain’s Víctor Gutiérrezo came out as gay in May before heading to the Rio Olympics. The 25-year-old from Madrid came out on the cover of LGBTI website and magazine Shangay.

“My family knows I’m gay, my friends too. And I’m living in such a positive way with my sexuality that I felt a responsibility to share it with others,” And said he would bring his boyfriend at the time to meet the team.
The water polo star added: “I hope my coming out serves to break a taboo within the sport. You have to be judged not by your sexuality but by your sporting merit.”

 

 

3. Colton Haynes – TV star

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Colton Haynes

‘The Arrow’ and ‘Teen Wolf’ star, Colton Haynes came out as gay .

Said, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about.”

 

 

 

 

4. Javier Raya – Olympic figure skater

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Spanish Olympic Skater Javier Raya Came out publicly as gay with a sweet picture of him kissing his boyfriend. 

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The 25-year-old pro athlete shared the photo on his Instagram with the caption ‘Many of you know, others can imagine by the pictures and others will be surprised, but I have to say that right now I feel like the luckiest person in the world! ‘

5. Alexis G. Zall – YouTube Star

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     Comes Out as Gay in her 18th Birthday Video          “It is totally okay to be a girl who likes girls or a boy who likes boys”, Alexis said, “I wouldn’t rule out ever dating guys, but I definitely like girls and it’s totally okay to just be that.”

 

 

6.    Charlie Carver- TV star

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Charlie Carver, the actor known for his work on TV’s ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘The Leftovers’, announced that he is gay in a heartfelt essay posted to Instagram.“As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade. Over time, this abstract ‘knowing’ grew and ended in a climax of saying three words out loud: ‘I am gay.’”

 

 

7.   Jussie Smollett – ‘Empire’ Star

jussie-smollett-confirms-hes-gayJussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett didn’t have a lot of time to think about how open he would be about his sexuality when Empire hit so fast and so big last year.

By the time his character of Jamal came out to the world in dramatic fashion at the end of Empire’s first season, the actor had done so himself earlier in the year during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Jussie Smollett thanked Ellen DeGeneres for his coming out interview.

8.   James Franco- Sort of!

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“I’m a little gay,” Franco said.
“There’s a bit of overfocusing on my sexuality, both by the straight press and gay press, so the first question is why do they care?” he said. “Well, because I’m a celebrity, so I guess they care who I’m having sex with.

But if your definition of gay and straight is who I sleep with, then you could say I’m a gay cock tease.”

 

 

 

 9.  Trey Pearson- Rock singer

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Pearson, the lead singer of ‘Everyday Sunday’ came out in June and joined list of other out gay Christian singers, including Ray Boltz, Grammy nominees Anthony williamm, Jennifer Knapp and Vicky Beeching.

 

10. Sharon Osbourne- The reality show star

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Comes out as bisexual but says it’s “too late now”. Sharon, who has been married to Birmingham rocker Ozzy for the past 33 years, admitted that she “missed out” on the chance to enjoy a same-sex relationship.

 

 

11. Sam Tsui- Viral Video Star.

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Sam Tsui came out as gay in April and revealed that he’s engaged to marry a fellow musician!
Sam, whose most popular videos has had over 30 million views, said in a video : “For those of you who are curious, the answer is yes, I am dating some guy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Rayvon Owen – American Idol Finalist.

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Rayvon Owen, finalist of last year’s American Idol competition, came out in his new music video, ‘Can’t Fight It’.

Speaking to Billboard, Rayvon said that when he read a treatment for the video, he was originally supposed to leave the club with a beautiful girl. But he said; “When I read that treatment, I knew I couldn’t be dishonest,” and the video was changed to feature a man instead.

Now that he’s come out, Rayvon is using his new single to try and encourage others to accept their sexuality: “This is the perfect song to say there’s nothing you can do about that, accept who you are, and when you love someone, that’s OK.”

13.  Mara Wilson

Matilda star Mara Wilson

‘Matilda’ star Mara Wilson comes out as bisexual following Orlando attack .

 

 

14.  Mosinzon-  Basketball star

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A well-known professional basketball player from Israel came out in bold Independence Day post that he dedicated to the State of Israel on its Independence Day — a rare move in Israel sports.
“I’ll start with this special and lovely morning, when the country’s celebration of independence synchronized wonderfully with my own sense of independence, of freedom,” wrote Mosinzon.

15.  Jeremy Campbell-  Reporter

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Orlando mass shooting compelled ’11 Alive’ reporter Jeremy Campbell to pen an essay, “You Know I’m Gay, Right?” 

 

 

 

16.  David Mundell,  Scotland secretary.

David Mundell,

 

Prime minister Cameron welcomed coming out by Mundell, who became the first openly gay Conservative cabinet minister.

 

 

In a heartfelt statement Mundell, 53, said he had decided to come out after wrestling with “conflicting emotions … doubts and fears”. “Over time, I came to understand that, for me, the only way to be truly happy on a personal level is to acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am.”

17. Glenn Geller- CBS President

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Glenn Geller, President, CBS Entertainment 

 

Geller came out in January saying, “We’re always evolving, changing.I’m just a gay guy from Indiana who doesn’t play basketball. There is diversity at CBS. It exists in front and and behind the camera. Can we do better? I think we are.”

He touted CBS powerhouses like Survivor and Big Brother, as well as shows like Mom and Madam Secretary, and Blue Bloods.

 

 

 

 

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Diplomats come out in support of LGBT rights in India.

 27 embassies and high commissions in New Delhi have launched a fortnight’s campaign to celebrate LGBT rights. It began with a discussion on LGBT rights at the American Center in Delhi.

Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada, U.K., USA, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Sweden

For the first time, a group of nations including Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada, U.K., USA, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Sweden  have joined together to promote gay rights in New Delhi, despite the Indian government’s apathy on the subject.

“The message from the embassies is that ‘live up to the image that you show globally on such issues’,” activist Gautam Bhan said, before referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter message condoling Orlando’s victims.

“Speak out and acknowledge the community here in India as you send condolence messages for incidents abroad. The message is that while you celebrate diversity elsewhere, protect it at home.”

India’s unwillingness to offer diplomatic immunity to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats has led to tensions with embassies. Several officials have left the job finding the job too tough.

Activist Ashok Row Kavi said, “The rest of the world is telling India to wake up. You want investments coming into India, you need to get your house in order as people with alternative sexuality will be part of those deals and they cannot be treated as criminals when they come here.”

Some activists, however, said they would prefer the movement seeking rights for the LGBT community to focus on the domestic audience, rather than wait for foreign missions to pressure the Indian government. Changes in Indian law on homosexuality must be brought about from inside, and not outside.

“There is a myth that alternative sexuality is a foreign import, alien and not from our culture,” Anis Ray, a Calcutta-based activist said.

Diplomats discussed  the history of LGBTI struggles and rights in their respective countries. They also hoped that the Indian Parliament would decriminalise gay sex and repeal section 377

We hope this campaign will make the Indian government realize how crucial it is to scrap section 377 and provide equal rights to every citizen to make India a developed and powerful country.

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil leads Los Angeles Pride Parade.

India’s first openly gay prince recently led AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)’s Pride Parade in Los Angeles on June 12. Prince has previously opened gay pride in Stockholm in 2008 and in São Paulo in 2009.

Michael Weinstein, President of AHF said, “AIDS Healthcare Foundation is honored to march alongside Prince Manvendra and the LGBTQ community in its hometown of Los Angeles this weekend,” “AHF continues to stand with LGBTQ individuals around the globe in advocating for equal rights, fighting discrimination and ensuring access to healthcare.”

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Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil led AHF’s newly updated Pride bus in the parade. The bus was wrapped with a rainbow of smiling faces, representing the diversity within the LGBTQ community.

Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is a strong advocate for LGBT rights as well as HIV/AIDS education and prevention. He supports LGBT individuals in India through his community-based organization, The Lakshya Trust.

Modi’s reaction on Orlando Massacre is Hurtful and Shallow

Narendra Modi tweeted-
“Shocked at the shootout in Orlando, USA. My thoughts & prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured.”

Sir, your sympathy will be more meaningful if you atleast take steps for protection of LGBT community in our country. Many Indians are victims of hate crimes everyday.We hope you are shocked enough to scrap discriminatory and hateful section 377.

Apurva Asrani, national awardee filmmaker who has written critically acclaimed Aligarh (which highlighted the homophobia that pushed Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor of Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University, to commit suicide) said, “It’s well known that Pulse was a gay nightclub and all the dead and injured are from the community. The silence from the PM on this count really hurts.”

He further added, “While Aligarh highlighted Professor Siras’ struggle, there are several Siras’ who die unsung. Collectively, India has so many Orlandos every year. What about them? The government shied from any mention to the community because it’ll have to face up to its own stand on the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalises homosexuality and is used to persecute the community.”

Roy Wadia, grandson of the Indian film industry pioneer JBH Wadia of Wadia Movietone and brother of the late LGBT activist and film-maker Riyad Wadia, told dna: “In this complex web of hate,, bigotry,  terrorism, the more one  fuels the fire with discriminatory, stigmatising, hateful speech  and/or with laws that discriminate, persecute, condemn  targeted at LGBTI individuals  or any population/group for that matter — the more rhetoric and state-sanctioned ostracisation have a chance to lead to violence”

Don’t give shallow reactions, Mr. Modi, put your words into action!

We Don’t Need Any Ignorant Critic Review for a Veteran Artist

An exhibition of Bhupen Khakhar was held at the Tate Modern art gallery in London. It was not the first time that he was shown at a highly prestigious gallery, his art has been acclaimed and rewarded several times in London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Tokyo since the 1970s.

But an art critic for the Guardian, Jonathan Jones, who is surely unaware of International art history, calls it ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘boring’. He is naive and uneducated about the fact that there are different art histories in the world. Jones uses just western standards in his critique. Many artists, from India as well as outside, have called his review ‘personal’, ‘political’, ‘racist’ and ‘Narrow-minded’.

But in fact, we need not bother about it. A review in the Guardian is not likely to make the slightest difference to his popularity. In fact, his show at the Tate Modern will boost his fame and demand for his works.

Khakhar (1934-2003) was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri in 1984 and the Prince Claus Award at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Bhupen Khakhar played a central role in modern Indian art and was a key international figure.

Bhupen Khakhar never tried to hide his homosexuality. Khakhar painted homosexual love, life, and encounters from a distinctively Indian perspective. Bhupen once said, “Gay people are naturally creative and hence drawn to the arts.”

Read more about him at: https://gayrightsindia.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/our-pride-bhupen-khakar/

LGBT Youth Leadership Summit, 2016

The third edition of the Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit, hosted by MINGLE (Mission for Indian Gay and Lesbian Empowerment) concluded on Sunday, in in association with Love Matters and with the support of Godrej, Barclays, Fondation de France, Humsafar Trust, RNW Media, Rainbow Solidarite, Pink Pages magazine and Gay Bombay.

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The objective of the summit, which is organized every year, is to identify potential leaders among LGBT Indian youth and groom them for future leadership roles. More than 250 young LGBT people between the ages 18 and 28 had applied, among whom 35 were selected based on their leadership potential and willingness to engage on LGBT issues. The participants were a diverse group of men, women and transgender persons from various professional, educational and cultural backgrounds – coming from many Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru among others.

The theme for the summit this year was “Coming out and coming together” with a focus on workplace inclusion.

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‘Indian LGBT Workplace Climate Survey 2016’ was launched which was conducted by MINGLE’s research team. The survey covered one hundred LGBT employees across three major sectors of the Indian economy. The Survey brought out some disturbing findings. 40% report facing harassment at workplace while one in five people faced discrimination from their managers or HR. Only 48% are covered by non-discrimination policy, i.e., every second person surveyed can be legally fired just for being LGBT.

 

The Survey also showed that “out” employees at work are consistently more engaged, more productive and loyal to the organizations compared to closeted employees.

 

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Fabrice Houdart (Human Rights Officer at United nations) said, ““For me it was shocking to see the figure of 40% harassment- in the West, figures of around 7-8% are considered worrying”. The United Nations is resolutely behind LGBT rights because we consider it an integral part of basic human rights. I know some countries claim that it is not part of their culture or tradition, but we must understand that tradition cannot trump human rights.” Stressing the importance of coming out, Fabrice spoke about his own personal experiences in the workplace when he was closeted. “I used to be afraid of straight men- coming out gave me the courage to be my authentic self, and dispel the fears that were holding me back.”

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Parmesh Shahani, head of Godrej India Culture Lab addressing the audience consisting of many HR and diversity professionals from various large multinationals urged them to start taking steps on LGBT inclusion like the way Godrej has been doing over the last two years. “What is stopping you from doing so”, he asked.

 

Ritesh Rajani, co-leader of LGBT employee resource group at IBM Spoke about the importance of coming out and its impact on people in the workplace – “This gives me an opportunity to spread awareness, and sensitize a lot more people, which often percolates outside the workplace as well.”

Pooja  Shahani, Diversity & Inclusion head of Goldman Sachs said,                                          “At Goldman Sachs, we ensure that such policies are applied uniformly across the globe. But beyond policies, we are focusing a lot on creating an inclusive culture.”

Radhika Vaidyanathan from Community Business found it noteworthy that 44% respondents are “out” at home compared to just 25% to their colleagues. “This makes me hopeful because if people are comfortable at home, they can be comfortable elsewhere as well eventually.”

The summit helped the youth leaders introspect on their personal challenges and becoming better leaders in general. Rohit Bairagi from Gurgaon said, “The summit was both fun and enlightening. I will take back the learnings and implement them in my own initiatives like starting an employee resource group in my company.

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MINGLE (Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment) is first of its kind LGBT think-tank and advocacy group consisting of students and professionals from diverse fields such as the Arts and Sciences, Journalism, Law, Medicine, Management and Engineering. Its vision is a truly liberal and pluralistic India where all citizens enjoy their fundamental right to lead a secure and dignified life irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Love Matters is the first ever bi-lingual multimedia project that delivers blush-free information and news on love, sex & relationships for young adults in India. Love Matters India was launched in 2011 and has now expanded to China, Latin America, Kenya and Egypt. It also focuses on safe sex. Sex is a  wonderful thing to explore, share, and enjoy. And we think that if you provide young people with honest and positive information and news on sex, they are more likely to have safer and healthier sexual lives. Love Matters won the Award for Excellence & Innovation in Sexuality Education for being the most innovative sexual health project in the world.