• Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil made headlines when he came out in 2006. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
The Crown Prince of Rajpipla says anti-gay laws in India must be scrapped.
Michaela Morgan

1 Mar 2017 - 12:24 PM  UPDATED 1 Mar 2017 - 12:28 PM

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has used his platform as an openly gay Indian prince to demand constitutional rights for the LGBT+ community in India.

The Crown Prince of Rajpipla made headlines in 2006 when he came out, the first royal prince in the country to do so.

As a recent guest of the Nagpur pride march, Gohil urged the government to scrap India’s anti-gay laws.

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"If India wants to be respected across the world, it can’t ignore the basic rights of the LGBT people," he said at the event.

“As the largest democracy, it is high time that India scrap the outdated laws imposed by the colonial government and give equal rights to the LGBT people.”

Gay sex is currently punishable by up to ten years in prison under section 377 of India’s penal code.

Gohlil has previously spoken about how his struggle with his sexuality when he was growing up, with his family eventually disowning him when he came out.

“When I was around 12 or 13, I realised I wasn’t attracted towards the opposite sex, I was attracted to the same sex.

“Why is this attraction happening? I wasn’t clear about it because I did not have communication with anyone,” Gohil explained.

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“Most of us think our fate is not going to be changed even if we vote.”

“Being brought up with servants and not many friends… no internet… it was a very confusing state.”

The Prince started The Lakshya Trust in 2000, a charity dedicated to HIV/AIDS education and prevention.