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Menaka Guruswamy
Most Creative People 2019

Menaka Guruswamy

Senior advocate, Supreme Court of India | New York, NY

For securing LGBTQ rights in India
Most Creative People

Menaka Guruswamy is an Indian lawyer and research scholar and lecturer at Columbia Law School who fought for LGBT rights by successfully campaigning to overturn India’s Section 377 law, which rendered all sexual activities that were considered “against the order of nature” punishable by law in September 2018. Along with another public interest litigator, Arundhati Katju, Guruswamy decided to have individual LGBT Indian citizens approach the court and not institutions like nonprofits or advocacy groups in an effort to humanize LGBT Indians to the court. The ruling has already made a difference to LGBT Indians: Lower courts now cite the ruling to send local police—who previously were using the penal code to keep same-sex couples apart—to protect gay citizens from intimidation from their families or communities.

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