It was frigid weekend with a snow storm warning looming in the forecast. Yet, students and faculty of the Indian community on University of Michigan campus came together to protest Indian Supreme Court reinstating an 1861 law - Section 377 - that bans gay sex.
The law was ruled unconstitutional by Delhi High Court in 2009. But, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling and held that only Parliament had the power to change that law.
Rebecca Grapevine, a student at College of Literature, Science and the Arts and one of the organizer of the protest said,” We wanted to show the solidarity that exists in support of queer rights in India from around the world and to show that “Indian culture” is inclusive and open.”
Danish Sheikh is an activist and one of the lawyers in the litigation team that represented some respondents before the Supreme Court. He is visiting University of Michigan law school for a year and was involved in organizing the protest on U-M campus.
"The case makes the LGBT community in India extremely vulnerable to police abuse and harassment, reducing them to the status of felons, and stalls other efforts to bring about equality for the community," Sheikh said.
He also mentioned that the litigation team will be filing a review petition before the Supreme Court within a 30 day deadline.
Both the Congress party as well as the Aam Aadmi Party have both come out in support of the community which is seen as a strongly positive sign.
Read his recent commentary in kafila.