New Delhi: Members of the LGBT community and civil society activists on Thursday held a protest here against the Supreme Court verdict of 2013 criminalising gay sex, saying it represented a violation of human rights.
At a public hearing organised by India HIV/AIDS Alliance, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community claimed that discrimination against sexual minorities had become more severe since the verdict last year.
"The Dec. 11 (2013) verdict has made our already vulnerable community even more vulnerable to harassment by police," said an activist at the protest where LGBT community members called for access to healthcare services and increased efforts for the safeguarding of their rights.
Sushant Divgikar, actor and a recent participant on TV reality show 'Big Boss', said, "I am deeply troubled by the daily injustice faced by my LGBT brothers and sisters. We need to fight the internalised homophobia and transphobia in our communities and transform our fear into courage to celebrate who we are."
James Robertson, Executive Director, Alliance India, said that even though sexual minorities are full citizens of the country, they are denied opportunities to earn a living, study and access health services.
"Many families reject them and push them further to society's margins, increasing their vulnerability to a range of harms, including HIV. We must join together to fight the insidious impact of homophobia and transphobia," he said.
Supreme Court had last year set aside a Delhi High Court judgement decriminalising gay sex and thrown the ball into Parliament's court for amending the law.
The judgement revived the penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with life imprisonment in a setback to people fighting a battle for recognition of their sexual preferences.
Later, the court had also dismissed a bunch of petitions filed by the Centre and gay rights activists against the 2013 verdict.