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UN releases first Bollywood-style gay rights video

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released the first Bollywood-style gay-rights music video as a part of its Free & Equal Campaign.

The video is called “The Welcome” and has former Miss India Celina Jaitley covering the 1979 Bollywood classic “Uthe Sab Ke Kadam.” Last year Jaitley was recognized as a “UN equality champion” for her support of the LGBT community.

Slumdog Millionaire choreographer Longie worked on the video pro bono, as did the rest of the cast.

“It is an honour to partner with the United Nations on the incredibly timely and important Free & Equal campaign,” Jaitley said in a UN press release. “I have been working for LGBT rights for many years, and I am honoured to contribute my musical debut to such a good cause. Music is a universal language. It can engage people’s passion, and that’s when good things happen.”

“LGBT people have historically been marginalized and subjected to discrimination and violence in India, as elsewhere,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay added. “But change is coming. In the past few months we have seen an unprecedented level of public debate relating to the rights of LGBT people. As awareness grows, attitudes will change. We need to do all we can to hasten change by challenging the myths and misinformation that get in the way of understanding. That is what this campaign is all about.”