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India Travel Guide

Gay and Lesbian in India



Homosexuality isn’t generally open or accepted in India, and the low actively outlaws sexual acts between men, this actions are considered offensive and exist a law that condemns this act; the article 377 of the penal code punishes with ten year, while laws against “obscene behavior” can be used to arrest gay men for cruising or liaising anywhere that could be considered a public place; the law also can be used for lesbians; for this reason and the right-wing extremists, India maybe isn’t the best place for who wants to experience a lot of gay nightlife or entertainment.

In 1998, a film called Fire by Deepa Mehta, was very polemic film that related the history about two sisters-in-law who fall in lesbian love, flying in the face of the traditional emphasis on heterosexual family life who considered very offensive with respect to their beliefs. The film was very controversial and in many places caused troubles, especially with the right-wing extremist and religious groups attacked cinemas where it was showed, in opposed to this fact many lesbians and gays protest for first time with candle-lit in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Bangalore and other places.

However, like in other parts of the world the gays and lesbian in India is same as anywhere else, but homosexual in India are largely invisible. The things are changing with the modernization and westernization of the country, and now several bars offers “gay nights” once a week in Delhi, and three parties per week in Mumbai.

You can contact to the gay community by its website www.gaybombay.com, and in every city you can find some group that help to gays and lesbians, especially women’s movement. With this thing the community is increasingly accepted by the middle-line urban middle and upper classes, and also in the scene of actors and artists.

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