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Celina Jaitly Slams "Colonial" Anti-Gay Laws in India, Of Sri Lanka CHOGM

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 5 -- When Indian actress Celina Jaitly came to the UN on May 5, it was to screen a video she's made promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

 She said in India the "T" can be changed now that the law recognizes a third gender category -- this alongside Section 377 which prohibits "sex against the order of nature."

  Inner City Press asked Ms. Jaitly about the colonial nature of this prohibition, given that 41 of 53 members of the Commonwealth have anti-homosexuality laws. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka last November, Indian prime minister Singh boycotted but not on this issue.

  Ms. Jaitly said it is up to courts today to revise or amend these laws; Charles Radcliffe of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the prohibition is reflective of Victorian England. Q&A video on Inner City Press YouTube channel here.

  Inner City Press asked the UK Mission to the UN for a comment and received this, from a UK Spokesperson:

The UK is strongly committed to progressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, both domestically and internationally. Too many people still suffer outdated prejudices, discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The UK believes that anti-homosexual legislation within many Commonwealth States is at odds with international human rights laws including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We therefore urge all Commonwealth States with laws that criminalise homosexuality and discriminate against people on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity to take measures to urgently review them. Government Ministers and officials continue to raise the situation of LGBT people, during meetings with Commonwealth counterparts, and non government organisations.

  At the US State Department briefing later on May 5, deputy spokesperson Marie Harf was asked what the US had done or said about Brunei providing for homosexuals to be stoned to death.

  At the UN, Inner City Press asked Ms. Jaitly about the cases of extortion or blackmail against gays in India; she said the reinstatement Section 377 is creating that atmosphere and said she hopes it will be overturned, whether by four or five judges. Here is the video: watch it, and this site: the Free UN Coalition for Access.


 

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