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Congress welcomes judgment SC verdict on gay sex, BJP leadership silent

A senior BJP functionary, who spoke off the record, said decriminalising sex between two consenting adults of the same gender was alright but the government would oppose any demand to legalise marriages between them.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2018 23:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
gay rights,political parties,politcal leaders
Celebrations broke out across the country as LGBT groups brought out rallies, having anxiously waited for the verdict. (HT Photo)

Political parties and leading politicians took to Twitter to welcome the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict decriminalising homosexuality on Thursday.

Celebrations broke out across the country as LGBT groups brought out rallies, having anxiously waited for the verdict.

“We join the people of India & the LGBTQIA+ community in their victory over prejudice. We welcome the progressive & decisive verdict from the Supreme Court & hope this is the beginning of a more equal & inclusive society,” the Congress tweeted. The party also tweeted a photograph captioned “Pride, not prejudice”.

While no member of the cabinet or ministers of state commented on the verdict, Gaurav Bhatia, the national spokesperson of the BJP, welcomed the verdict.

“Historic Judgment by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. An archaic 156 year old #Section377 makes way for Fundamental Rights of LGBT community,” he tweeted.

A senior BJP functionary, who spoke off the record, said decriminalising sex between two consenting adults of the same gender was alright but the government would oppose any demand to legalise marriages between them.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who had sought to bring a private member’s bill to decriminalize homosexuality, said in a tweet: “So pleased to learn that the Supreme Court has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377 & on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity & constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS.”

In March 2016, the Lok Sabha voted against Tharoor’s attempt to introduce a private member’s bill for decriminalising homosexuality. Tharoor’s “The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016” had sought to amend Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that makes homosexuality an offence.

KC Tyagi of the JD(U) said “revolutionary changes were taking place in society” and, therefore, he “respects” the verdict doing away with a key clause in Section 377 that went against LGBT rights.

DMK leader Kanimozhi tweeted, “Choices and decisions of our lives should not be judged. Congratulations to the Supreme Court!”

“Court shuns prejudice, embraces liberty,” said Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 23:15 IST