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The Indian Supreme Court and Marriage Equality: The Activism Behind the Headlines (A Study Group with Nitika Khaitan, LL.M.’23)

November 9, 2023

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

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Harvard Kennedy School, Bell Hall

B-500, Belfer 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138

In a landmark judgment in 2018, the Supreme Court of India read down a colonial-era law used to criminalize homosexuality (Navtej Johar v. Union of India). In October 2023, the same court rejected petitions seeking marriage equality for queer persons (Supriyo v. Union of India). These judgments garnered international headlines. But what is often elided are the long, complicated histories of activism behind these cases, and the fierce debates around questions that are relevant to law and social change movements everywhere. How do we queer the law and resist being straightened by it? How do we build a queer activism that is anti-caste and anti-majoritarian, especially amidst India’s rising authoritarianism? What do we gain by using phrases and campaign strategies from the global north, and what do we lose? This study group traces these debates at two pivotal moments – today, and when homosexuality was first decriminalized in India. The sessions will explore what insights we can draw from Indian histories of queer activism around the law for queer and human rights movements worldwide.

This study group is open to HUID holders only and registration is required. Please register in the link below.

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November 9, 2023, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

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