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Family disowns gay Indian prince

By RealJock Staff

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, 40, who announced he was gay earlier this year, was formally and publicly disinherited by his family, one of the country's richest royal families in the western state of Gujarat.

Homosexuality is banned in India under a 145-year-old law. It is punishable by up to 10 years in jail. Gay activists are challenging these laws in a country where even straight public canoodling invites stares, jeers and sometimes beatings.

His family published letters of disinheritance in a Gujarati language newspaper shortly after Gohil came out.

"Henceforth, no one must refer to my name as mother of Manvendra," read one notice signed by his mother. "If any individual or organization dares to do so, it will invite contempt proceedings".

Gohil says he won't see his inheritance and has found happiness in Gujarat's gay community.

"I will not stake my claim to the property. I have found a family in the (gay) community and am happy working for the community," Gohil, who runs an NGO working on HIV/AIDS among homosexuals, told Reuters.

"As an activist, I thought it right to come out of the closet first. Otherwise, it would have been living a lie," Gohil told Reuters.