Barack Obama’s re-election as president of the United States has boosted the morale of the city’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community.
His return to power spells not only potentially wider acceptance in society and freedom from discrimination, but also promises easier flow of funds to sexual minorities, say organisations working with the community.
Representatives from sexual minority communities recalled the Obama government’s endorsement of gay marriages and its policy to allow the military to recruit candidates without questioning their sexual orientation.
“Whatever happens in the US has an impact in other parts of the world,” said Vikranth Prasanna, founder of non-governmental organisation Chennai Dost.
“Having a supportive person as the president will ensure that our rights are protected. In the last four or five years there has been greater acceptance. We hope that gay marriage recognition will be uniform across the United States. Legalising gay marriages will also minimise the risk of sexually-transmitted infections,” Mr. Vikranth said.
Magdalene Jeyarathnam, who runs Centre for Counselling, an organisation that addresses the issues of sexual minorities, believes that the Obama government has given them equal opportunities.
“In the last four years there has been a marked change. When [Secretary of State] Hilary Clinton declared ‘we are with you’ after a spate of gay suicides, it helped prevent more deaths. The previous Bush government always attached a rider while offering grants or funds to programmes for sexual minorities,” she said.
“In the HIV prevention programme, the emphasis of the earlier government was on setting up abstinence clubs in colleges but very few students showed interest in joining them. What we must have, is sex education in schools and colleges, an initiative we hope this government will support.”