Mumbai got its own gay pride parade on Saturday as groups representing gays, lesbians and bisexuals came out on the streets demanding an end to unfair parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexual activity. They assembled at the historic August Kranti Maidan, where over six decades ago the Quit India movement was launched. The parade was flagged off by Bollywood actress Celina Jaitley.
Manvendra Gohil, a coordinator of Queer Azadi said, “This is for equality. India got freedom 60 years ago, but homosexuals are still not in a position to live in society freely. Society does not accept them; the law defines same gender love as a crime. So we are demanding a reading down of the section 377 of the IPC under which the homosexuals are treated as criminals.” Hundreds of people supporting the cause gathered to encourage the marchers. Family members, friends, colleagues, NGOs, women’s groups, human rights organisations, and trade unionists also participated in the march.