Since yesterday, political leaders of different parties have come out both against and in support of the Supreme Court judgement criminalizing any kind of sex except peno-vaginal. Here is what the leaders had to say about Sec 377 and the judgement:
Kapil Sibal, Union Law minister: Yes, definitely there is a need to bring a change in the law, as soon as possible. This is not a law that fits in the 21st century. The mindset behind this decision of the SC belongs to the 19th century. This law will affect lakhs of people.
Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of Indian National Congress: I personally believe that these are matters of personal freedom. I think, I would agree more with High Court verdict.
P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister: What we have done is go back in time to 1860 and I’m terribly disappointed. We must explore ways and means in which this judgement can be reversed very quickly.
Sonia Gandhi, Congress President: We are proud that our culture has always been an inclusive and tolerant one… I hope that Parliament will address this issue and uphold the Constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens of India, including those directly affected by this judgment.
Sushma Swaraj, senior BJP leader: Just by saying the Supreme Court judgement is unfortunate won’t help. Let the government call an all-party meeting and discuss changes.
Shivanand Tiwari, leader, Janata Dal United: I don’t support the Supreme Court decision. I think the Delhi High Court order was practical and constitutional. This happens in society and if people believe it is natural for them, why is the Supreme Court trying to stop them?
RPN Singh, Minister of State, Home Affairs: The state must not interfere in two consenting adults’ private lives.
Aam Aadmi party (AAP): The Aam Aadmi party is disappointed with the judgment of the Supreme Court upholding the Section 377 of the IPC and reversing the landmark judgment of the Delhi High Court on the subject… This not only violates the human rights of such individuals, but goes against the liberal values of our Constitution, and the spirit of our times. Aam Aadami Party hopes and expects that the Supreme Court will review this judgment and that the Parliament will also step in to repeal this archaic law.
United Nations: Criminalising private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified. Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in this case represents a significant step backwards for India and a blow for human rights.Any action that criminalises consensual same-sex conduct between adults that doesn’t recognize that fundamental freedoms of people include their right to sexual orientation – those are issues that we certainly would be concerned about.
Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir: Questions of morality or religion are not the issue. How can a lifestyle choice be illegal? Supreme Court removes red lights for equality yet not Section 377.
Derek O’ Brien, Leader, Trinamool Congress: At a personal level, I am very disappointed. In this liberal world we live today this is not expected.
Brinda Karat, CPI(M) leader: The SC order is wrong. Sexual relations which are consensual cannot be criminal.
Suresh Kumar Koushal, petitioner in the SC: I don’t hate LGBT people. But they are wrong. They should change their orientation. If sachin can change from the left hand to the right, why cant these people change their preferences in the interest of the country?
Mani Shankar Aiyyar, senior Congress leader: I think this requires serious thought because there must be equality for all human beings. These kinds of preferences are almost built in your genes. So to discriminate against people who have a particular preference is not something I would advocate.
Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister: I haven’t read the judgement, if the court thinks it is a matter that needs inputs from all elected people, it is unobjectionable. And now the onus is on us parliamentarians. But I cant predict as this is the Home Ministry’s mandate and cant predict what will happen.
SK Tijarawala, petitioner in SC: If these people don’t want to change, let them leave India.
Subramanian Swamy: Debate on SC order on Section 377 is over. Yes to SC have prevailed with ok of over 80% of India. Let free sex w&w(wala and wali) wail: SC order final… The majority of MPs in Parliament, the Supreme Court , the Constitution, and over 84 percent of India support the SC order on gay sex.
Sushilkumar Shinde, Minister of Home Affairs: Proposed legislation would “will take time as there is no consensus” on the issue
Yogi Adityanath, BJP MP: I welcome the Supreme Court verdict. When the bill is brought in Parliament, I will oppose it. I oppose any move to decriminalise homosexuality and endorse Ramdev’s comments.
Ram Gopal Yadav, Leader, Samajwadi Party: We support the decision of Supreme Court. It is completely against the culture of the nation.
Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP leader: We welcome the decision of the court because it is important that Section 377 remains. It is not only women who can be exploited and harassed but men also get exploited so there is a a need for a law to protect men too.
Prakash Javdedkar, BJP, leader and MP: I don’t talk about such things, Shiva Shiva (and laughed).
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