India: Queer rights enter election script, but not all parties on same page

No matter who wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the one who takes the hot seat in Delhi will have a number of promises to keep to the country’s LGBT voters given the “commitment” that each political party has pledged towards the rights and beliefs of sexual and gender minorities in their manifesto.

While it’s common for smaller factions to find themselves deluged with campaign promises, this is a first for the queer community. And it comes at a pivotal time for LGBT rights in India. The decriminalisation of Section 377 last year was a big win but the fight for equal rights is just beginning, feel members of the queer community. From basic rights in the workplace to marriage, adoption and housing rights, there are issues aplenty that LGBT Indians still face and the government that is voted to power will be as crucial in determining the course of the country as much as the future of LGBT rights.

“Gay men and women want to grow old together in dignity and whoever comes to power needs to ensure this. It’s not like we’re asking for a special privilege. Just the same rights granted to any other person. Marriage rights are especially important so that we can nominate our partner to our assets or inheritance and also care for them medically,” explained Sridhar Rangayan, an activist-filmmaker with special focus on queer subjects.

Read more via Times of India