Indian movie goers are upset after the country “indefinitely” delayed the release of gay film Love, Simon.
While most of the world has already seen Love, Simon and is awaiting the DVD release of the film, Indian LGBTQ people and movie goers were excited to see the film at the start of this month.
Unfortunately, that never came to fruition as the Central Board of Film Certification (or the CBFC) banned the film because of its gay content.
This announcement incited an online outcry for the unbanning of the film. The hashtags #ReleaseLoveSimoninIndia and #LoveSimon quickly took over India’s twitter feed.
As GayStarnews reports, some people have created online petitions to stop the ban.
One such petition found on Change.org states:
“India has lacked a mainstream powerful representation of its LGBT+ citizens for a long time. Although not Bollywood, this film could… also educate parents about what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual etc.”
“This film could have a tremendous impact on the country’s perception of what it means to be a part of the LGBT+ community.”
“This movie can be a medium to create awareness and can be a progressive step in eliminating the stigma that surrounds the LGBT+ community.”
Not only is gay content not allowed in films shown in India, but gay sex is illegal in the country as well. In India, gay sex is criminalized under Section 377 of the Penal Code. The section states that sexual acts “against the order of nature” is prohibited.
That said, India’s Supreme Court is set to possibly change this section and legalize gay sex in an upcoming court case in July. We’ll see which way they decide to rule on.