• June 25, 2014 5:55 PM

WorldPride Delegates Call on India to Decriminalize Homosexuality

TORONTO, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian political and community leaders have joined WorldPride delegates in a global call for action urging the Prime Minister of India to decriminalize homosexuality.

WHAT:    

WorldPride delegates issue a call for action from Canada and the world


to oppose India's archaic law that criminalizes homosexuality.



WHO:       

Humsafar Trust CEO Vivek Anand and community leader Karim Ladak.



WHEN:    

Media availability from June 25 to 29



WHERE: 

WorldPride 2014 Human Rights Conference


University College, University of Toronto

Delegates to the WorldPride 2014 Human Rights Conference today issued a call for action from Canada and the world to oppose India's Section 377, an archaic criminal law that police use to target homosexuals. They have called for clear statements urging the Prime Minister of India to decriminalize homosexuality.

Campaign No377 was kicked off in Toronto on Sunday and is supported by municipal, provincial and federal political leaders in Canada.

The campaign includes a petition to the Prime Minister of India, which can be accessed at http://chn.ge/1rpr3RP. Campaign supporters also can tweet their opposition to Section 377 with #No377.

Organizers also will recruit 'champions of change' among Canadian governments, community leaders and corporations investing in India, to support the campaign.

Section 377 of India's Penal Code dates from Victorian times. A broad coalition successfully challenged it in the Delhi High Court in 2001 and it was overturned as unconstitutional on July 2, 2009.

However, a subsequent Indian Supreme Court verdict on Dec. 11, 2013, reinstated the archaic law, prompting outrage from communities, media and political leaders in India and around the world. The Supreme Court currently is being petitioned to overturn this verdict, with support for the campaign being mobilized around the world.

WorldPride is an anchor for direct action to oppose Section 377, said Vivek Anand, CEO of the Humsafar Trust, who is attending the Human Rights Conference in Toronto. The Humsafar Trust is a community-based organization founded in 1994 that provides comprehensive support to MSM and LGBTI persons in India.

Avand and community leader Karim Ladak, also a delegate to the WorldPride Human Rights Conference, are available for media interviews until June 29.

SOURCE Campaign No377

For further information: Karim Ladak, 416-993-0530, karim.ladak@gmail.com; Vivek Anand, 647-717-5260, vivek.hst@gmail.com (until June 29)