Year after India gay ruling, a battle to change attitudes

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09/05/2019

Vivek Kishore and Vishwa Srivastava hit it off soon after meeting at a cafe, little knowing what lay in store for them as a gay couple in India where homosexuality was a criminal offense until a year ago. The couple’s worst fears came true when they were slapped, abused, and threatened with police action by none other than Kishore’s parents, who found out they were living together. But life changed for the duo a year ago on Friday when India’s Supreme Court overturned a British colonial-era law that had criminalized gay sex as “against the order of nature”. Hundreds of people had been prosecuted under the law, known as Section 377, which was often used to threaten, abuse, and blackmail members of the LGBTQ community. “It was huge, it was like getting independence… My immediate thought was both of us can have sex, that’s not criminal anymore,” Kishore gushed. “Legally there is nothing that my homophobic family can do now against me,” the 24-year-old said, locking eyes and toes with his partner at their home in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi.

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