Following the Supreme Court ruling upholding section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that bans gay sex, many Congress leaders have come out in open, slamming the verdict. "The High Court had wisely removed an archaic, repressive and unjust law that infringed on the basic human rights enshrined in our Constitution," Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said.
Amidst the incessant chatter over Section 377, the loudest sound has been of deafening silence from the national opposition party.
However, the BJP has now come out saying that the party “unambiguously” endorsed the re-criminalisation of gay sex.
In an interview to The Telegraph, BJP President Rajnath Singh said, "We will state (at an all-party meeting if it is called) that we support Section 377 because we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act and cannot be supported."
Earlier, though the party maintained mum on the subject with some leaders opposed to homosexual acts.
"Section 377 of IPC only bans sexual conduct that goes against the order of nature. A reading down of this law can be that to be born with gay tendencies cannot be against the order of nature. The court does not have to legalise or illegalise such a thing. It is not against the order of nature," a BJP leader had told PTI earlier.
However, some BJP leaders cautioned that the party cannot openly take a stand for or against this issue as it may hurt public sentiments and conventional notions prevalent in society.
"One has to keep in mind that this issue is taboo in society. A lesbian or gay couple may have to face social stigma. Even the family members of such people have to face jibes and are shunned by some sections of the society," another leader said.
But the party Presiden't statement on it makes it more clear where BJP stands on the issue of Section 377.
It seems the BJP has now dropped its circumspection, probably on the assessment that the gay community is not electorally significant and the party stands to suffer a dent in its traditional base if it is seen to be supporting “unnatural acts”.
Published Date: Dec 15, 2013 09:20 am | Updated Date: Dec 15, 2013 09:31 am