Indian gay pride parade doubles as protest

Indian gay pride parade doubles as protest

A gay pride parade in New Delhi has also doubled as a protest against discrimination and laws criminalising homosexual acts.

Hundreds of people marched in the streets on Sunday (local time), many bearing rainbow balloons or flags.

Gay sex is illegal in India and labelled as an activity "against the order of nature" under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The law was found to be unconstitutional in 2009, but that was overturned four years later.

Under the law, gay sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Pride participant Rituparna Borah says the parade had two purposes.

"We are here to celebrate pride but also to protest against the kinds of violence that have been happening on people marginalised on the basis of gender, caste, class, religion, but also in terms of people from different regions," she says.

"So I am basically here to protest, and also celebrate the fact that we are there."

Some participants said as things have changed over the years, society has begun to accept LGBT people.

"I feel that people are talking about this a lot and media is helping a lot, media affects our life, day-to-day life, in a really, really important manner, and I feel that has really brought in the change in the society," participant Sonu says.

"People are talking about it and that's important."

Pride organisers say as well as protesting laws, there was also a focus on "dismantling social structures" that shape the country and the world.

"This Pride, we resist freedoms that come with conditions and assert justice for all. If some of us aren't free, no one is," they said on Facebook.