Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday sparked off a controversy through his comments on decriminalising homosexuality, and promptly received a Twitter backlash.
Swamy made the comments after the Supreme Court on Monday said it will re-examine its verdict upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises homosexuality. "Our earlier order needs to be reconsidered," Chief Justice Dipak Misra said on Monday.
Speaking about the case, Swamy was quoted as saying by ANI that homosexual relations are not a problem as long as 'they don't celebrate it, don't flaunt it, don't create gay bars.' He argued that while there cannot be any invasion with respect to private acts, 'flaunting' it should be punished.
As long as they don't celebrate it, don't flaunt it, don't create gay bars to select partners it's not a problem. In their privacy what they do, nobody can invade but if you flaunt it, it has to be punished & therefore there has to be #Section377 of the IPC: Subramanian Swamy pic.twitter.com/hgWtw54U3P
— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2018
The Twitterati were quick to call Swamy out for his statement.
I shall celebrate. I shall not hide. We will create bars not only to select partners but to live free and happy amongst our own. And what is "it"? Sex? That fact we are queer? The fact you can't digest it? What is the "it"? https://t.co/d4n1PeCjqU
— Vivek Tejuja (@vivekisms) January 8, 2018
National spokesperson for the Congress, Sanjay Jha also reacted to the BJP leader's quote, asking the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi if this was the saffron party's official position on the matter.
Swamy has also made statements in support of Section 377 in the past, even going so far as to calling homosexuality "a disorder that needs to be cured." As this article by Sandip Roy mentions, Swamy has made quite a lot of contradictory statement about Section 377, and against homosexuality. Swamy has at various times termed homosexuality a 'genetic disorder' and 'genetic handicap.'
At other times, he called for criminalisation of 'flaunting' of homosexuality,' or criminalisation of the sexual orientation altogether.
Prior to believing it was a disorder, Swamy believed it was a offence that needed to be 'fined'. "In Kautilya's Arthasastra [4.13.236] "ayoni" sex [Homosexual intercourse] is an offence and attracts a fine. Where appropriate, "danda" or prayaaschit," he had said in 2013.
In the past, Swamy has also referred to sexual orientation as a method of attacking political opponents. He had said in 2011 that "If I informed you that one candidate for PM is a homosexual with a British partner resident in Delhi, would that be invasion of privacy ?"
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jan 08, 2018 20:07 PM