VIDEO: Panelists in Boston discuss India's criminalization of LGBT couples

Yesterday in Boston at the Fenway Health Center, the South Asian Arts Council presented a panel to discuss the ongoing LGBT conflict in India.

Relationships between members of the same sex were decriminalized in India through an appellate court ruling in 2009, but the country’s Supreme Court subsequently overturned that ruling in December 2013. The Court held that parliament was ultimately responsible for decriminalizing same-sex relationships and deferred to the legislative body. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes sexual activities that are “against the order of nature.”

The panel, which is sponsored by Boston Pride, discussed the future for LGBT individuals in India. To provide a greater understanding of the current status in India, the panel introduced a variety of topics including major media coverage of the law, what activists are doing to change the law, how corporations and the private sector are affected by the law, and many others. It consisted of experts located in Boston and India. The event was titled, "India, Turning the Page: Prospects & Paradoxes."

Panalists included activist Meenu Motwani-Jethra, criminal justice writer Sarbpreet Singh, youth advocacy group co-founder Payal Sharma, and Executive Director of the South Asian Arts Council, Amit Dixit. Of the panel's success, Dixit told GLAAD:

I was honored to partner with Boston Pride and all our community allies to further highlight the humanitarian issue of 377 at Fenway Health.  Having a senior religious leader and a mother of an LGBT South Asian son brought the true message that we are all part of one global family and acceptance is far more powerful then intolerance. Our mission was to educate and relate the current 377 issue to the early movement in America. It seemed quite evident that regardless of geography or cultural diversity the message of "hate" seems very familiar.

Find out more about the panel here.