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Pride March returns to Mumbai after 4-year hiatus-TGN

The Mumbai Pride March returned to the city after a four-year-long hiatus. 

The LGBTQ+ parade kicked off on 3 February. A crowd of people marched through the streets of Gamdevi in South Mumbai to raise awareness of queer rights in India. 

Around 1,000 people were expected to attend the event in the South Asian city, as per Free Press Journal as the community is still battling for rights, including same-sex marriage. 

Sudhanshu Latad, advocacy manager for The Humsafar trust, told Hindustan Times: “The aim of the events is to increase the visibility of the community to spark awareness and discussion and to foster safe spaces for the community.

Pride March returns to Mumbai after 4-year hiatus-TGN
People marched through the streets of Gamdevi in South Mumbai to raise awareness of queer rights in India. (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

“When onlookers see fun events taking place in public spaces…and see our rainbow flags, they join in and also strike up a conversation.”

Mumbai held the last Pride parade in early 2019, with over 8,000 people attending. However, event organisers in recent years ran into issues obtaining police permissions, as well as the pandemic.

In October 2023, India’s Supreme Court declined the legalisation of same-sex marriage after a lengthy campaign, and public support, for a change in law.

The five-judge bench at the country’s top court, which included the chief justice of India, was divided over the decision and the bench wrote four separate judgments.

In the end, the judges issued a 2-3 decision and refused to recognise same-sex marriage, stating it was for the legislature to carry out, rather than the courts.

However, the bench did emphasise the rights of the LGBTQ community to be free of prejudice and discrimination.

Whilst LGBTQ+ couples are free to celebrate their commitments to each other “in whichever way they wish” that “does not extend the right to claim any legal entitlement to any legal status for the same union or relationship”.

Other directions issued by the court to the government included: ensuring that the queer community is not discriminated against, to sensitise the public to queer rights, to create safe houses and a hotline for members of the queer community, and to recognise a citizen’s right to enter into a union with their life partner.

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