Decriminalise homosexuality, gay people ask political parties

With key issues related to them finding no mention in heated election debates, transgender and gay rights activists asked political parties to put their demands in the agenda and make their stands clear on issues like decriminalisation of homosexuality.

At a 'People's Panchayat' in the capital on resisting stigma and homophobia, the activists said political parties, which have mindset dating back to years, need to wake up to the existence of sexual minorities or face electoral boycott from the estimated four crore population.

"In Mumbai, our groups are actually meeting political parties with major demands, including decriminalisation of homosexuality and a law against discrimination," said Mumbai-based gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi.

"Every reaction from the parties is conveyed through our wide networks to the members of the community throughout the country," Kavi said.

He said it is high time the members of the community get together on a larger scale to strike a political bargain.

The meeting that saw a number of transgender and homosexual people come together to relate their experiences in fighting the stigma, was the last in a series of such 'panchayats' held in five major cities of the country.

"We feel that the agenda of political parties across the spectrum should include their stand on sexual minorities," said a statement released by the activists and experts after the 'panchayat'.

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