Violent mob attacks Indian priest because they think he is gay

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Thursday 16 May 2019 07:45
news

Disturbing footage has emerged of an Indian holy man being attacked and beaten in the street by an angry mob because they believed he was gay.

In an upsetting clip carried by local broadcaster Mirror Now, Lokesh Pujari is seen being manhandled by a crowd in the eastern city of Mangaluru, Karnataka.

His attackers tore off the priest's clothes and cut his hair with a sharp sickle - an act intended to shame him - demanding an apology for his alleged engagement in homosexual activity, according to Gay Star News.

The incident was filmed by several onlookers, one of which quickly went viral in a country whose Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality in September 2018 but where hostile conservative attitudes still fester.

In its landmark judgement, a huge step forward for LGBT+ rights, the court overturned Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which dates back to 1861 and British colonial rule and outlawed "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal".

The court ruled that criminalising sexual acts between consenting adults violated India's constitution.

Summing up, Justice Misra said:

Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of expression.

We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion and ensure equal rights.

More: Brunei is being globally condemned for enacting law that makes gay sex punishable with death by stoning

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