india_gay_ban_protest_at_south_africa_india_cricket_matchA one-man protest at the weekend’s cricket Test match between South Africa and India has highlighted the recently renewed ban on gay sex in India.

Nico Swart, owner of Johannesburg’s Factory Bar, decided to attend a number of match days at the Wanderers and express his feelings about the ban to cricket fans.

He held up placards that read “India make love legal” and “No gay sex no ball” during the match.

“Since I’m a cricket fan, it seemed like the perfect platform to get media exposure easily and let India know what I think,” Swart – who has been involved in LGBT and HIV activism – told Mambaonline.

He said that, “India is one of the largest nations in the world so a small gesture on my behalf potentially could reach a lot of people.”

Earlier this month, India’s Supreme Court restored the 153-year-old colonial-era law banning gay sex, which could jail offenders for up 10 years in jail.

india_gay_ban_protest_at_south_africa_india_cricket_match_johannesburgSwart went on to say that people at the stadium reacted positively to his protest. “I plunked my poster down next to them and said ‘I’m protesting moffie issues in India’. They said ‘Oh, OK.’ I explained and they came back with ‘Ten years is a long time boet.’

“I think I had some success; I made it onto TV and people at the venue got educated,” said Swart, who added that he plans to stage similar protests at future international cricket matches featuring India.

The Indian Supreme Court ruled that a previous 2009 court decision striking down the anti-gay law was invalid and that the law could only be repealed by parliament.

The move was met with widespread condemnation both in India and internationally.

Last week, India’s government petitioned the Supreme Court to revisit its decision and to repeal the anti-gay law.

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