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Stand of various political parties on SC verdict on consensual sex between gay persons
Satbir Singh Bedi | 16 Dec 2013

While Congress expressed disappointment over Supreme Court's verdict criminalising consensual sex between gay persons, the BJP refrained from taking any sides while Modi maintained a studied silence. AAP after initial hesitation too came out against the SC verdict.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi stated that consesual sex between gay people was a matter of personal freedom and the Government indicated that it would either ask for a review of the verdict in the Supreme Court or bring out a legislation to amend Section 377 of IPC which criminalises consensual sex between gay people.  However, Meenaxi Lekhi of BJP supported the Supreme Court verdict.
 
"I 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 need for a law to protect men too," Lekhi said minutes after her senior colleagues, leaders of opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, had refrained from declaring their stand on the issue. 
 
Swaraj said, "Supreme Court has also said Parliament can legislate on this issue. Government can call an all-party meeting and we will tell our view there on the issue after seeing the government proposal." 
 
She also said it was not enough for the UPA chairperson to express disappointment over the verdict, and expressed hope that the matter will be brought to Parliament shortly. 
 
Meanwhile, speaking to TOI, Lekhi said she saw the outrage over the SC order as a perfect case of "much ado about nothing". People are little informed about the criminal law process and how it gets activated, she said, adding, "You need a complainant or victim for that. Unless someone lodges a complaint, the police cannot do anything about it." 
 
As for soliciting for sex in a public space, it is punishable by law in any case, whether it is between men and women or between same sex people, she elaborated.