Bengaluru

LGBTQ community upset with ‘homophobic’ complaint

The LGBTQ community in Bengaluru is up in arms against a complaint by the Cubbon Park Walkers' Association, which they term is ‘homophobic’.

S. Umesh, president, Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association, lodged a complaint with the Cubbon Park police on September 12 and submitted a memorandum to the police commissioner on Friday, drawing their attention to ‘illegal activities by homosexuals in Cubbon Park’.

“Homosexuals are roaming around in groups chanting slogans and instigating males to do immoral activities by abusing them,” the complaint alleges, adding that this has ‘drastically reduced the number of visitors and foreign tourists visiting the park’.

Vasudhendra, LGBTQ activist and writer, said it was evident from the tone of the complaint that it was ‘homophobic’. “Laws on decency in public places are the same for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. But the complaint seems to take objection to even roaming around,” he said.

Akkai Padamshali, well-known transgender activist, said, “It is a public park owned by the government and we have equal right to the space. If there is soliciting, let them take legal action. But trying to blame all ills on homosexuals smacks of homophobia and lack of awareness. It is their thinking that is immoral.” She added that she was willing to meet the complainant, and discuss and educate him, apart from meeting the home secretary, demanding redressal for similar issues for the community regarding access to public spaces.

Not just the LGBTQ community, other walkers of Cubbon Park too have taken objection to the complaint. Priya Chetty Rajgopal, a regular walker, said the walkers’ association president had earlier banned pets and now was trying for a ban on ‘homosexuals’. “After the Supreme Court verdict, we as a society need to open up and accept the LGBTQ community in our public spaces. We as a society need to grow up. If banning people is what the association want, why not start by banning flashers?” she said.

Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar told The Hindu that action would be taken in specific instances where there was a violation of law, if any, by anyone, heterosexual or homosexual. “Everybody has a right to a public space and people need to accept it,” he said.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 3:42:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/lgbtq-community-upset-with-homophobic-complaint/article24948858.ece

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