Indian Americans participate in Pride Rally held on the south lawns of the White House


LGBTQ members urge PM to support equal rights in India

Our Bureau


President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have invited Indian Prime Minister Modi for his first state visit to the US. The President and the First Lady will host PM Modi for a state dinner on June 22. Keeping the importance of his visit in mind, Indian-American LGBTQ members urged PM Modi to extend his support for the equal rights of the Indian LGBTQ community.

“I would say the Indian Supreme Court has been debating the issue of gay marriage, LGBTQ marriage for a couple of months now. I would urge Prime Minister Modi to support this, to support the equal rights of the LGBTQ community in India and to understand that our children and LGBTQ folks are entitled to equal rights because we are all human,” said Aruna Rao, executive director, Desi Rainbow.

Rao was among the select few Indian Americans who participated in the historic Pride Rally on the South Lawns of the White House, addressed by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. “My understanding is, in the metro areas, there is some support for LGBTQ people. In small towns, in the villages where people do not have support, do not have access to any kind of equal rights. In every which way, economically, socially, culturally, LGBTQ folks in India, in South Asia, need a lot of support,” said Rao.

Lesley Kingston, another Indian-American participant at the White House Pride Rally, hoped that PM Modi’s visit will prove to be very successful. “I expect that bilateral relationships between the two countries get stronger. But I do hope that Prime Minister Modi really spends some time taking a look at the South Asian, Indian community here and learning how we are striving for progress and to be able to give the same rights of LGBTQ people in India; all the rights that we have here and more. Because they deserve it,” said Kingston.

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