Rainbow flag : All that you need to know about LGBT movement

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The rainbow flag, commonly the gay pride flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements. The community because of it's distinct sexual orientation faces discrimination in the the society and are often looked upon so  to fight against the oppression and identify themselves as sovereign entities the community came up with the idea of the Rainbow Flag.

Facts to know about the Rainbow Flag 

  • The rainbow flag or the gay pride flag was designed by San Francisco-based artist, Gilbert Baker in 1978.The  most common variant of the flag consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community.
  • The design of the flag was inspired by Judy Garland's singing "Over the Rainbow" and the "Stonewall riots"  that claimed lives of several gay people. For the first time the gay pride flag was publicly demonstrated on June 25 in 1978 at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. 
  • Each colours of the flag has different meaning : Hot pink for Sexuality, Red for Life, Orange for Healing, Yellow for Sunlight, Green for Nature, Turquoise for Magic/art, Indigo/blue for Serenity/harmony, Violet for Spirit.

The relentless efforts made by the LGBT groups brought colours and the US Supreme Court, on June 26 in 2015, ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges case that the US Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry and that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

Countries that have legalised same-sex marriage :

►Netherlands in 2001 : The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.  It has been legal in the Netherlands since April 1, 2001. The fight for the legalisation of same-sex marriage started in the mid-1980s, when a group of gay rights activists, headed by Henk Krol – then editor-in-chief of the Gay Krant – asked the government to allow same sex couples to marry.

Parliament decided in 1995 to create a special commission, which was to investigate the possibility of same-sex marriages. The special commission finished its work in 1997 and concluded that civil marriage should be extended to include same-sex couples and in 2000, the final draft was debated which led to the acceptance of the same-sex marriage in the Netherlands.

►Belgium, Ontario and British Columbia in 2003 : As Netherlands legalised the same-sex marriage it became a matter of discussion in all parts of the world and the LGBT groups became aware of their rights, under such situation  Belgium became the second country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in the country on June 1, 2003. The same year Ontario also legalised same-sex marriage on June 10. The Court of Appeal for Ontario in Halpern V. Canada upheld a lower court ruling which declared that defining marriage in heterosexual-only terms violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. After Ontario, British Columbia became the second region in Canada to legalise it on July 8.

►New Brunswick, Spain and Canada in 2005 : The path of fight for the legalisation of  same sex marriage was not smooth in all parts of the worlds and that happened as Justice Minister, Brad Green of New Brunswick said that New Brunswick would not follow the footsteps of Nova Scotia which had legalised same-sex marriage in the year 2004 and will only recognise the marriages between a man and a woman but the govt was pressurised by the LGBT groups and had to legalise the same sex marraige in 2005. Spain legalised same-sex marriage the same year on July 3 

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world, and the first country outside Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition. After Ontario, British Columbia became the second region in Canada to legalise it on July 8.

►South Africa in 2006 : Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since the Civil Union Act came into force on 30 November 2006. South Africa is the fifth country, the first in the southern hemisphere, the first republic, and the second outside Europe to legalise same-sex marriage.

►Norway, Sweden, Coquille Indian Tribe and Vermont in 2009 : Norway became the first Scandinavian country and sixth country world to legalise same-sex marriage. Although Norway has allowed same-sex registered partnerships since August 1, 1993 but it was legalised and accepted by the government in 2009. Same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May 2009, after the adoption of a new, gender-neutral law on marriage by the Swedish parliament on 1 April 2009 making  Sweden the seventh country in the world to open marriage to same-sex couples nationwide. Vermont was the first state to introduce civil unions in July 2000, and the first state to introduce same-sex marriage by enacting a statute without being required to do so by a court decision.

Other countries : Greenland and Finland are supposed to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015 and 2017 respectively

LGBT rights in Asia

LGBT  rights in Asia are limited in comparison to many other areas of the world. Same-sex sexual activity is outlawed in at least twenty Asian countries. While at least nine countries allow same-sex people to serve in the military, only Israel provides a wider range of LGBT rights - including same-sex relationship recognition.

In the Islamic regimes of Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, homosexual activity is punished with the death penalty. Israel, Nepal, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Cyprus are the most open to the LGBT community in Asia. Philippines is ranked 9th as the friendliest country in the world to gay people despite having no legislation to recognize same-sex marriage. 

LGBT rights in India 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face certain legal and social difficulties that are not experienced by non-LGBT persons. In India sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is criminalised, and is punishable by incarceration. However India is one of the few countries in the world to legally recognise Transgenders as a third gender.


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