It’s good to be queer this Valentine’s Day. February 14 will be first, legal Valentine’s Day for same sex couples in India after the Delhi high court decriminalised consensual sex between homosexuals on July last year and Archies, the country’s largest card chain, has decided to take this celebration out of the closet and put it up on sale in hundreds of stores across cities.
Archies has stacked the shelves of 500 stores across big cities as well as small towns with five different Valentine’s Day cards for gays and lesbians ahead of February 14.
“We have been toying with this idea for a while and then came the court judgment in which it was clearly said that it’s legal to be gay,” Archies company spokesman Yohan Arya said.
“So we felt this was the right time to add these cards to those we already have for the occasion,” he said.
Homosexual consumers are not exactly spoiled for choice, with just two cards for gay men, two for lesbians and one gender-neutral card. The wording of the messages is also pretty basic.
A lesbian version says: “For my girl friend from your girl friend.” The gender-neutral card reads: “Oh how totully gay!”
The gay-themed cards are likely to fuel the ire of radical groups already staunchly opposed to any celebration of Valentine’s Day, which they see as an erosion of Indian culture and a symbol of Western encroachment.
Gay rights activists, however, are unperturbed. They feel that the move reflected society’s growing acceptance of homosexuals since the court struck down a provision in Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised gay sex, last July.
—With AFP inputs