Challenge Modi to Take a Stand for LGBTQ Indians

Silicon Valley CEOs: Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai

Challengemodi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Silicon Valley on September 27. The controversial politician, previously banned from the U.S. for complicity with genocide, will meet with leaders of leading tech firms like Apple, Google, and Facebook. These firms have been leaders and innovators in supporting LGBTQ employees in the workplace and in U.S.-based battles for rights. Modi’s visit provides an opportunity to lead again.

For years, LGBTQ Indian activists have called for the repeal of Section 377 of India’s Penal Code, which originates in the time of the British Raj. Section 377 effectively criminalizes LGBTQ people by outlawing sexual acts that are “against the order of nature.” Colonizers instituted Section 377 and laws like it in the middle of the 19th century around the world: it’s an outdated reminder of India’s colonial past. Today, it puts millions of LGBTQ Indians in harm’s way, as it’s been used as an excuse for harassment, blackmail, extortion, and physical and sexual abuse, multiplying existing inequalities based on caste, class, and gender.

Since taking office, Modi has refused to take any stance on the law, even though leaders from every other major party have spoken out against it. Modi’s own Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has called homosexuality a disease in a televised speech. However, Modi and his party have the legislative power to initiate concrete action to decriminalize millions of LGBTQ Indians.

Modi’s Silicon Valley hosts think LGBTQ rights are important: Tim Cook is vocal about anti-LGBTQ legislation and is a member of the LGBTQ community, Mark Zuckerberg identifies as an ally, and Pichai’s Google was an early leader in LGBTQ partner benefits for employees. Apple, Google, and Facebook visibly demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community in the San Francisco Pride Parade this year. Will Silicon Valley seize the opportunity to set an example and stick up for 50 million LGBTQ Indians?

Ask them to #ChallengeModi: take action and repeal Section 377.

This petition is co-sponsored by Queers for Justice in India.

Sponsored by

To: Silicon Valley CEOs: Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai
From: [Your Name]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Silicon Valley on September 27. The controversial politician, previously banned from the U.S. for complicity with genocide, will meet with leaders of leading tech firms like Apple, Google, and Facebook. These firms have been leaders and innovators in supporting LGBTQ employees in the workplace and in U.S.-based battles for rights. Modi’s visit provides an opportunity to lead again.

For years, LGBTQ Indian activists have called for the repeal of Section 377 of India’s Penal Code, which originates in the time of the British Raj. Section 377 effectively criminalizes LGBTQ people by outlawing sexual acts that are “against the order of nature.” Colonizers instituted Section 377 and laws like it in the middle of the 19th century around the world: it’s an outdated reminder of India’s colonial past. Today, it puts millions of LGBTQ Indians in harm’s way, as it’s been used as an excuse for harassment, blackmail, extortion, and physical and sexual abuse, multiplying existing inequalities based on caste, class, and gender.

Since taking office, Modi has refused to take any stance on the law, even though leaders from every other major party have spoken out against it. Modi’s own Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has called homosexuality a disease in a televised speech. However, Modi and his party have the legislative power to initiate concrete action to decriminalize millions of LGBTQ Indians.

Modi’s Silicon Valley hosts think LGBTQ rights are important: Tim Cook is vocal about anti-LGBTQ legislation and is a member of the LGBTQ community, Mark Zuckerberg identifies as an ally, and Pichai’s Google was an early leader in LGBTQ partner benefits for employees. Apple, Google, and Facebook visibly demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community in the San Francisco Pride Parade this year. Will Silicon Valley seize the opportunity to set an example and stick up for 50 million LGBTQ Indians?

Ask them to #ChallengeModi: take action and repeal Section 377.