Parents of LGBT persons hail right to privacy judgement by India’s Supreme CourtAround the World, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
MUMBAI, India — The recent Supreme Court judgment on right to privacy has brought a ray of hope not only for the LGBTQ community, but also their parents. It has raised their anticipation that this judgment may herald better days for the repeal of Sec 377.
Several parents of LGBTQ persons in Mumbai who are forming a Parents’ Support Group welcomed the judgment and said it paves way for recognition of sexual orientation of their children as a fundamental right.
Chitra Palekar, mother of lesbian scholar Shalmalee, said, “I believe that the recent Supreme Court judgment on the Right to Privacy — especially the section where it makes a critical observation about the earlier 2013 judgment of the same court on Sec 377 – has opened doors for the success of the Curative Petition. It makes me extremely hopeful that Section 377 may be read down and my lesbian daughter as well as the entire LGBTQ community will at last get ‘justice’ and ‘life with dignity’ – their fundamental rights! As a mother I wait for that day with bated breath!”
Pradeep Divgikar, father of celebrity gay performer Sushant Divgikar, said, “The historical judgment and certain pertinent observations made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court vis a vis the rights of LGBTQ community has instilled sanguine hope. It has paved way for optimism all around that the curative petition in the Supreme Court will result in the Apex Court decriminalizing Section 377.”
Echoing their sentiments, Padma Iyer, mother of equal rights activist Harish Iyer, said, “The right to privacy judgment is a pivotal judgment that makes us free and independent again. The special passages on Section 377, gives a ray of hope to mothers of LGBTIQ persons who are always scared about their child’s wellbeing.”
Speaking up for her son Abhishek, HR professional Aruna Desai said, ‘Let’s amend this law so no one has to live in fear anymore of being blackmailed or extorted simply for loving someone.”
She further added, “This gives me hope that we will now be able to fight the battle against Section 377 and amend it, so that my adult gay son, and thousands others like him, do not have to fear being a criminal in their own country just for loving someone of their own sex.”
Teacher Vidya Phadnis, mother of Ameya, said, “As a parent, even though the journey is still far from the goal but such intelligent small steps from the right authorities, like the legal system, will enable to reach the larger goal!”
These parents as well as several others have come together to form a Parents’ Support Group in Mumbai to share resources and offer a platform for other parents to reach out for support regarding their own LGBTQ children.
In February the parents got together for a day-long closed-door workshop to analyze the various issues that parents face in terms of law, society and families; and formulate strategies to challenge these. The workshop was organized by Solaris Pictures, as part of their campaign to raise awareness around acceptance. This workshop was funded by money raised through crowdfunding for the film Evening Shadows, being produced by Solaris Pictures, and directed by award winning filmmaker and activist Sridhar Rangayan.
“I am overwhelmed by the SC’s verdict on right to privacy which is surely a harbinger of better times for the LGBTQ community”, said Rangayan, “It brings much needed hope to gay men and lesbian women, as well as their parents who are concerned with the legal status of their children’s sexual orientation.”
The film Evening Shadows, about a son coming out to his mother in a small town, is getting ready for its festival premiere. The film stars Ananth Mahadevan, Mona Ambegoankar, Devansh Doshi and Arpit Chaudhary in the lead roles.
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