A revolutionary judgement which shall lead to the legalization of homosexuality in India. 

Supreme Court declaring the right of privacy a fundamental right, said in the judgment: “Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation…”

The nine judge bench headed by CJI JS Khehar said the rights of LGBT persons were not a charity. “Their rights are not ‘so called’ but are real rights founded on sound constitutional doctrine. They inhere in the right to life. They dwell in privacy and dignity. They constitute the essence of liberty and freedom. Sexual orientation is an essential component of identity,” the judgment said.

The privacy judgment recognised and respected the sexual preference and orientation of the LGBT community. Justice Chandrachud said on behalf of the bench, “That a minuscule fraction of the country’s population constitutes LGBTs is not a sustainable basis to deny the right to privacy.

‘Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual’

“The purpose of elevating certain rights to the stature of guaranteed fundamental rights is to insulate their exercise from the disdain of majorities…. The test of popular acceptance does not furnish a valid basis to disregard rights which are conferred with the sanctity of constitutional protection.”

“Discrete and insular minorities face grave dangers of discrimination for the simple reason that their views, beliefs or way of life does not accord with the mainstream. Yet in a democratic Constitution… their rights are as sacred as those conferred on other citizens.

The bench said the Delhi High Court had “erroneously relied upon international precedents in its anxiety to protect the so-called rights of LGBT persons”. The rights of gay and LGBT population “cannot be construed to be ‘so-called rights’, the court said, adding their rights are not “so-called” but real rights under the Constitution.

Stopping short of setting aside the 2013 judgment that criminalises homosexuality, the SC said, “Since the challenge to Section 377 is pending consideration before a larger bench of this court, we would leave the constitutional validity to be decided in an appropriate proceeding.”

Justice A.P. Shah, who had read down Section 377 of the IPC in 2009,  has said that after the Supreme Court’s order on the fundamental right to privacy, there is “very little scope” to defend 377. He said, “I personally feel that there is a strong possibility that the Constitution bench examining the curative petition is bound to go by what the Supreme Court said in course of its judgment on Thursday. There is very little scope now for those wanting to support Section 377.”

 

 

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Right to Privacy: SC Indicates it May Re-look Homosexuality Judgment

The debate surrounding the right to privacy took an interesting turn on Wednesday with the Supreme Court indicating that its judgment against homosexuality may get reopened if privacy is assigned the status of a fundamental right.

A nine-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, observed that sexual orientation was a matter of privacy and if the court were to hold privacy as a fundamental right, then the 2013 judgment against homosexuality would be susceptible to a fresh legal challenge.

“Marriage, procreation are facets of privacy… sexual orientation is also about privacy. If we say there is a fundamental right to privacy, our judgment in Naz Foundation becomes vulnerable,” observed the judges.

If the nine-judge bench elevates the status of the right to privacy, the ruling will come handy for Naz Foundation, which has asserted that private acts of consensual sex between consenting adults in private could not be criminalized by sanction of law.

Further, an authoritative ruling by the nine-judge bench will bind the smaller benches and therefore, the bench hearing the curative petition in Naz Foundation case would have to adhere to the principles evolved by the larger bench.

Openly Gay Man of Indian Origin is Ireland’s next Prime Minister.

Leo Varadkar, a qualified doctor and son of an Indian wins the Fine Gael parliamentary elections to become Ireland’s next Prime Minister.

Varadkar had come out publicly in 2015 on his 36th birthday on national radio. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland in 1993. In 2015, Ireland passed the Marriage Equality Bill, allowing same-sex couples to marry.

It signals another stride forward for equality rights in Ireland. To be able to have a young, able, good-looking gay man as prime minister of the country, it says to young people, ‘you can be anything you want, your sexuality doesn’t matter.

leo varadkar

Currently, Varadkar is not the only openly gay PM of a country. Second being, Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel. In the past, two other world leaders went public with their sexuality: Former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurõardóttir

He was 22 when Leo Varadkar entered Irish politics. At 27, he was elected to parliament. At 36, he publicly came out as gay. And now, at 38, Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian father and an Irish mother, is Ireland’s next prime minister.


Varadkar has always the backing of Ireland’s Indian community. Prashant Shukla, Chief Executive of the Ireland-India Council told CNN, “Traditionally Indians have tried to integrate themselves in their adopted countries very well and continue making outstanding contributions to their chosen fields around the world due to their sustained hard work, entrepreneurship, family values, adoptable nature, and deep rooted commitment to democracy.

“Perhaps, the same story is going to be repeated by Leo Varadkar in Ireland. This is a proud moment for his father, Dr. Ashok Varadkar and his mother Miriam. Over 30,000-strong Irish-Indian community is interestingly looking forward to it.”


Varadkar is in a relationship with Matthew Barrett, also a doctor. The couple have holidayed together and even met each other’s families.

Varadkar’s Indian relatives had gathered in Mumbai on Friday to celebrate after the news arrived. His 93-year-old uncle, Manohar Varadkar, told the Hindustan Times, “I am extremely proud of Leo. My nephew is doing so well and has made the family name famous across the world.”


The Varadkar family consists of nine siblings. The eldest Madhukar and  Manohar were freedom fighters.

leo varadkar



Companies Associate for LGBT inclusivity

​​
About 30 massive companies are working together to empower LGBTI workers in India. IBM is leading the initiative of bringing together the multinational companies (MNCs). They plan to work out strategies together to become more inclusive of LGBTI employees.‘We cannot name the companies but these are a mix of MNCs and Indian companies from technology, retail and FMCG domain,’ Ajay Dua, executive sponsor LGBTI, IBM India told The Economic Times.  ‘We are visibly LGBT-inclusive in the external marketplace to remain an employer of choice for this talent pool. Our hiring practices are inclusive.’

The Indian branch of global consultancy firm Bain & Company started aiming for greater diversity amongst its workforce last year. ‘The association provides a unified diversity message throughout the recruiting process, an open communication channel with leadership to advise them on relevant policies, ensure a supportive work environment, and overall awareness of LGBT issues,’ said Bain partner, Parijat Ghosh.

Other MNCs spoke to The Economic Times about how their European and US offices already had diversity policies in place. But the companies were hesitant to go on the record because of a lack of legal protection for their employees.
‘We have two LGBT employees and it is disclosed to management at the time of hiring but we would want their identities protected, mainly because of legal reasons,’ said a spokesperson for a consumer goods firm.
Real estate company Godrej has gone one step further in promoting inclusivity. Its equal opportunity policies apply to all and it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

‘Our anti-harassment policies are gender neutral,’ said head of Godrej India Culture Lab, Parmesh Shahani.
‘We also have equal benefits to same-sex partners of employees, fully paid three month adoption leave (which is also gender neutral) and a medical benefit scheme which includes the spouse/domestic partner, parents and/or children of an employee.’

SOURCE: ECONOMIC TIMES

11 Reasons why Romil and Jugal is a must watch for everyone

Ekta Kapoor’s AltBalaji digital platform brings an entertaining and progressive show, Romil And Jugal. With the lead cast of Rajeev Siddhartha and Manraj Singh, director Nupur Asthana has made a worth watching full fledged Indian Show. Here are some of the best things about Romil and Jugal.

1. Characters


Each character is so interesting and inspiring that you feel some connection with them. Cheerful and romantic Jugal, Deep and dashing Romil, flamboyant and smart Ramya, sophisticated Meher, and ofcourse the mature ones. Everyone makes you smile and inspires you in some way. The characters of Romil and Jugal are realistic. Meher and Ramya inspire to support and stand up for your gay friends. Each character is distinguished and original. Besides them, there are many impressive characters in the show.


2. Brilliant Actors
:

The actors have done their job magnificently. Protagonists Rajeev and Manraj express more through eyes than words. They make their characters look so real that you can literally feel their emotions. Their portrayal of gay characters is realistic and heart-touching. Romil is the most difficult character of the show. And Rajeev portrays it with excellence.

Srishti Ganguly, (who plays the role of Jugal’s sister Ramya), performs with grace. She fits in every situation. Vritika Ramnani (Meher, the best friend of Jugal) acts naturally. She expresses her love, insecurities and care for jugal very well.

3. Epic Romance

 The romance is obviously something you have never seen before. But at any moment, you never feel anything weird or uncomfortable. The romance is different but soul stirring. It touches your heart, either u r gay, straight, a boy or girl. It makes you realize that love is love.

4. Refreshing and Fun

 Romil and Jugal is a light hearted show. You would be enjoying each and every moment.

4. Dialogues:

The dialogues are original and impressive. They make you laugh as well as think. 

5.Humour

Romil and Jugal is an awesome RomCom. The characters have awesome sense of humor. Comic timing of actors is amazing. They give you light as well as heavy doses of laughter.

7. Music

The show has some nice songs and heartening background music.

8. Strong social messages

The show educates people about relationships, friendships, acceptance, tolerance. Through powerful instances, it explains how homosexuality is normal and natural. It inspires to accept and embrace homosexuality and speak up against homophobia. It makes you realize how wrong and sinful it is to marginalize and oppress homosexuals.

9. Drama/Suspense.

 This show is full on drama. At every moment, u wonder whats gonna happen next. You enjoy every moment. While watching it, either you will be smiling, laughing, touched, shocked or crying!

10.Its for everyone.

 If you think its just a gay romance, you are totally wrong. This is for everyone, straight/gay/men/women/adults/matures.You can relate yourself to some character. There are no adult scenes. Its a family show.

11. Progressive and meaningful

 Real cinema is what makes you think. Cinema is what stirrs your emotions, your mindset. Romil and Jugal represents the reality and breaks various myths and stereotypes. It doesnt force you to make any opinion. it makes you think by yourself. Its a film which you enjoy as well as learn from.

Watch Romil and Jugal now on ALTBalaji

https://altbalaji.com/show/129


©GayRightsIndia
By Himanshu Gupta ~Admin & Writer GRI

 

Romil And Jugal is a reality of our society, which every Indian needs to acknowledge.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ was based on one couple but this Romil and Jugal is based on lives of millions. There are Romils and Jugals who are fighting for their love, their existence and dying from inside everyday. Romil and Jugal is not just a show, its a mirror of our homophobic society.

The last episodes will leave you into tears. It would be most difficult for gay men to watch them, because Its not a drama for them its the reality of their lives. But besides those sad moments, this story has fun, romance, comedy and it motivates gay men to come out, accept themselves, be proud and raise their voice, because it shows India is finally changing! 

This show gives us incredible experience we never had until now. 

Nupur Asthana’s Romil and Jugal is a powerful show. It pushes people to think and acknowledge the truth. It makes them feel the pain of those innocent people whose lives are full of complications, challenges and tragedies. This show is definitely gonna touch everyone’s hearts.

Actors Rajeev Siddhartha and Manraj Singh have done justice to their characters. They have performed from their inner souls. These actors are not just the artists of Cinema, they are the artists of society and the nation.

Kudos to the amazing team of Romil and Jugal. The director Nupur Asthana has remarkably performed and the actors have given their perfect.

Romil and Jugal is for everyone, not just homosexuals. Watch this with your friends, parents and family.

It’s not less than a full-fledged Bollywood movie. It was actually scripted as a movie.   It’s pathetic that such progressive and meaningful cinema couldn’t be released as a movie. The Censor Board is a shame for our country. Thanks to digital media, which is an easy way to broadcast and reach to people. Watch these episodes, like them, share them widely!

Romil and Jugal has the potential to change the prejudiced mindset of Indians.

Episode 01

https://youtu.be/ptq91I2LCpU
Episode 02

https://youtu.be/0u7kI5Kk0v8


Episode 03

https://youtu.be/-QMt95ZTLpM







Romil And Jugal Shows Mirror to the Society : Rajeev Siddhartha

Romil And Jugal love story, the web series breaks the stereotypes and myths about homosexuality in the Indian society.

The actor Rajeev Siddhartha, who plays Romil, told IANS, “One of the very interesting parts of my character is how he discovers his sexual orientation and because of the social pressure, he could not come out and deal with the fact that he is homosexual until he meets Jugal.”

“That is one of the realities where in our society at times, we fail to deal with our orientation thinking this is all wrong because our mind is conditioned in a certain way. Here (in the Indian society) homosexuality is a taboo. So, this web series shows a mirror to the society in an entertaining manner.”

To establish anything unconventional, one needs parents’ support. His thoughts?

“I studied and worked as an investment banker before deciding to take up acting as my profession. When I told my parents, their first reaction was, ‘Have you lost your mind? You are leaving a great career, a steady job for acting, which has no stability and you know no one in the industry?’ Rajeev recalled.

“Staying focused at that time, convincing them and finding my way to live my dream was a task. The best part is… my parents are proud of me now,” he added.

“Getting a role in a film is tough anyway because of huge competition in the film industry. Having said that, I don’t think people will not cast me because I played a gay character on screen. Times are changing and now films are more character-driven. So if someone will find potential in me, I believe they will cast me in a film,” he said.

Produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by Nupur Asthana, Romil and Jugal will stream on Alt Balaji app from April 16.

SOURCE : IANS

WATCH THE TRAILER ROMIL AND JUGAL:

Flash Mobs: Progressive and powerful way to spread awareness

Every year, LGBT youth organisations Yaariyan and Harmless Hugs lead a team of 35 to 50 dancers in a flash mob. The event, recently organized in Thane, Mumbai is held every year at various public places in Delhi and Mumbai.

Mumbai’s flash mobs have been organized by Yaariyan since 2014 at Marine Drive, Dadar, Bandra Vashi and this year in Thane. The men and women dance to Hindi songs and aim to spread awareness about homosexuality and LGBT rights.

A mob is a progressive way to end ignorance in the society. It takes place at random popular public places, allowing it to engage people of all types, of different ages. The group dances to a number of Bollywood songs and ends the performance by shouting slogans in support of LGBT rights.

It’s amazing to see public watching this event. Someone is shocked, sweating and some are smiling. But it’s unlikely that any homophobic person hates this because these mobs are so beautiful and powerful, they push people to embrace homosexuality.

Kudos to Yaariyan and Harmless Hugs and those awesome participants.

Watch more videos on youtube searching keywords delhi/mumbai lgbt flash mob. Like and share widely.

Delhi based Harmless Hugs is an expansive space that empowers members of the LGBT community and its allies.
https://facebook.com/harmlesshugs

Mumbai based Yaariyan is a Humsafar Trust Youth Initiative that was initiated to understand current trends and behavior of LGBT youth. The Yaariyan Core Team currently comprises a group of ten LGB-identified youth between the ages of 18 and 28 years. 

http://humsafar.org/yaariyan/
facebook.com/yaariyanmumbai
https://www.instagram.com/yaariyan_lgbtq/

International Commission of Jurists asks Govt to repeal Section 377.

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), an international human rights NGO of lawyers and judges, has urged the Indian government to abolish Section 377 that criminalises homosexuality with a  provision of lifetime imprisonment.

The Telegraph reports the ICJ recommended that Indian authorities end discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in the formal justice system.

The report said, “Repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and vaguely worded criminal laws that invite discriminatory application, or substantially revise them to ensure there is no scope for abuse in their enforcement,”

The 60-page report – Unnatural Offences: Obstacles to Justice in India Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity – documents the challenges “queer persons” in the country often face.

The ICJ said its study was based on 150 interviews across nine cities, including with people identified as LGBT and those who may not fit any of these categories. It said most such people face problems while trying to access justice, starting from the impact of laws to police harassment and discrimination.

Sam Zarifi, the ICJ’s Asia director, said, “Criminalisation, police violence, and the prejudiced attitudes of officials… have a profoundly detrimental impact on the ability and willingness of queer persons to resort to legal avenues to obtain justice. The systemic discrimination and violence faced by queer persons in India, and the challenges they face accessing justice, are clearly contrary to India’s international human rights law obligations and the Indian Constitution.”

The report has made several recommendations to Indian govt including:

  • Ensure police officers promptly register and investigate any complaint regarding violence on queer people.

  • Provide legal and sensitisation training relating to sexual orientation and gender identity to lawyers and judges

  • Make outreach programmes to facilitate queer individuals’ access to the justice system.
  • Repeal section 377

The ICJ said Indian authorities had an “obligation” to “respect, protect and fulfil” the rights to equality before the law and freedom from discrimination; including the right to life, freedom from torture and “other ill-treatment” of “queer persons”.

Source: The Telegraph

​Health Ministry Resource Material tells same-sex attraction and relationship is normal and alright.

The Centre has launched a nationwide programme to end the misconceptions and ignorance among youth. About 1.6 lakh young boys and girls will work as peer educators to adolescents and respond to their queries on key health issues including sexual, physical and mental changes, nutrition and addiction.

The resource material prepared for these educators that was unveiled by Health Secretary C K Mishra treats the issue of homosexuality in the righteous way.

The kit explains the adolescents can feel attraction for same or opposite sex and it’s normal. Crucial in relationships is love, mutual consent, trust and respect.

The resource kit says, “Yes, adolescents frequently fall in love. They can feel attraction for a friend or any individual of the same or opposite sex. It is normal to have special feelings for someone. It is important for adolescents to understand that such relationships are based on mutual consent, trust, transparency and respect. It is alright to talk about such feelings to the person for whom you have them but always in a respectful manner.”

The resource material also opposes gender stereotypes.

“A boy can cry to give vent to his feelings. He can also be soft-spoken or shy. Being rude and insensitive is not a sign of masculinity. It is alright for boys to like things like cooking and designing that are normally associated with girls; adopting the role of the other gender does not mean that he is not male. The same applies for girls who talk too much or like to dress like boys or play games like boys. It is wrong to label such people as ‘sissy’ or ‘tomboy’.

The resource material in Hindi is going to be circulated to states as part of the adolescent peer-education plan.This group of 1.65 lakh educators from young generation itself are called “Saathiya”

The peer educators who will be trained by the health department with the help of the resource material given out by the Centre will do voluntary work. They are being trained under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK).

The resource kit comprises an activity book, Bhranti-Kranti game, question-answer book and Peer Educator Diary.While short films will be played by the peer educators at their group meetings, the activity book and games will bring about discussion and resolve adolescent queries.

The adolescents who are unable to interact with the peer educators can access the information through the free mobile app as well as a toll-free helpline. The mobile app is ‘Saathiya Salah’.

“Despite the expansion of media, there are many unanswered questions in the minds of young people in villages. Saathiya will address these questions. We are also talking about behavioural change and a change in thinking,” Secretary Mishra said.

The section also deals with awareness about HIV and STDs, use of pills and condoms,  listing masturbation as one of the topmost options for practising “safe sex”. It also talks about addiction, smoking and alcohol laying down their harmful effects.

While section 377 still criminalizes homosexuality as ‘unnatural’, this small but progressive step forward by centre is applaudable.

Download the Saathiya app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.unfpa.saathiya