This is in response to Humsafar Trust, an organization that promotes LGBTI rights, that recently started a petition against Section 377 on the website change.org and ask the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate repealing of the anti-gay law.
The NGO is seeking 100,000 signatures to strengthen their argument against the Supreme Court reinstating the British-colonial era Section 377 law that criminalizes same-sex relations between consenting adults.
Film celebrities, directors Onir and Reema Kagti, and editor Namrata Rao have been appealing to their Twitter followers to become signatories, according to indianexpress.com.
Kagti, a vocal supporter of the LGBTI rights and popularly known for known for her 2012 Indian neo-noir mystery thriller film Talaash, took to Twitter to urge her friends from the industry to sign the petition.
She posted the link to the petition on the timelines of several film personalities. “1,500 species exhibit homosexuality, only 1 exhibits homophobia (sic). Be the solution, not the problem,” read her tweet.
Apart from asking them to sign the petition, she has been requesting them to retweet or share the link.
Several celebrities have complied but the total number of signees have yet to reach the desired number.
“I found this petition online a few days ago (and) decided that I’ll dedicate a few hours of my free time to make people aware of this petition and urge them to become signatories. Since they all have thousands of followers, the petition might reach out to many more through these celebrities,” said Kagti.
She said Section 377 takes away what is a human right of people. “Some of our laws and politicians reiterate and perpetuate things which are wrong… I’m just doing my bit to change things.”
Indian gay rights activists are waging a legal battle to do away with the colonial-era “Section 377” law that describes same-sex relations as “unnatural” and punishable with life imprisonment.
Efforts have resulted in a flip-flop with courts decriminalizing and then recriminalizing the Section 377 law with the Supreme Court past December upholding the validity of Section 377, reversing the 2009 Delhi’s high court ruling that decriminalized it and gave the gay community broad protections and rights.
Currently, a new Supreme Court bench has agreed to re-examine that decision.