News
1 min

Gay Sikh’s Facebook photo of same-sex kiss removed then reinstated

Image that went viral attracted negative and supportive messages

Facebook took down, then put back up a photo of a gay Sikh man, Kanwar Anit Singh Saini (left), kissing another man at a Toronto protest against an Indian Supreme Court ruling that reinstated a law that criminalizes gay sex. Credit: facebook.com

Facebook removed then reinstated a photo of a gay Sikh man kissing another man during a Toronto protest against an Indian Supreme Court ruling, saying it "mistakenly" took down the image, BuzzFeed reports

Kanwar Anit Singh Saini, who was taking part in a Global Day of Rage against the court decision that upheld a law that criminalizes gay sex, posted the photo of himself on his page, Sikh Knowledge, with an accompanying message.

It read, "Last night my uncle told me if they knew i was gay before 20 they would have killed me. He also said im gay cause i was molested as a kid and im on 'the wrong path' . . . and when was i getting married? . . . i laughed and hung up. He comes from the same backwards place a whole minority were just recriminalized . . . Fuck my uncle. Fuck section 377. Im very proud to be illegal in any context. I owe that to my sikhi heritage and my mom. Also, for all the ranting about genocide i hear . . . i rarely see solidarity. So . . . fuck em all. #sikhknowledge #baagi #377 #section377 xoxox"

According to BuzzFeed, Facebook said the photo violated its terms and policies and suspended Saini's Facebook account for several hours. The photo was later reposted, with Facebook apologizing for "any inconvenience," the report adds. 

Some criticized Saini for posting the photo, saying that it was "disrespectful" to Sikhism, calling on him to take off his turban, and that he was protesting for his "own selfish lust." Many others came to Saini's defence, posting supportive messages.

One such message reads, "There is nothing wrong with him being gay and being proud of it. If others can't handle it then they can ignore it. People have no right to tell others what to believe in and do. Mind your own business and let others do what they want. And don't pull in religion in a matter of your own homophobia."