Section 377: Shashi Tharoor appeals to Narendra Modi, but will the PM listen?

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Bengaluru, March 13: The entire LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and their supporters were both angry and disheartened after Lok Sabha for the second time in three months on Friday (March 11), voted against the introduction of a private member's bill brought by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to decriminalize homosexuality.

An angry Tharoor called his fellow parliamentarians bigots and homophobic for showing no political will to amend or even scrap Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality.

Tharoor & Modi

Tharoor tweeted, "Bitter disappointment as my attempt to introduce my bill to amend Section 377 defeated again. Several MPs who'd promised to vote in favour absent. So bigotry & homophobia on the BJP side met indifference & prejudice on the Opposition's. Will have to leave it to the Supreme Court to resolve."

In a blog titled-- On 377, I Give Up, Hypocrisy And Bigotry Triumphs--Tharoor writes, "Here was the spectacle of a parliamentary democracy refusing to entertain debate -- the ruling party using its brute majority to defeat a motion without even a discussion. How can a deliberative legislature in what claims to be the temple of democracy dismiss an issue out of hand without even hearing the arguments in its favour or against it?"

He further writes, "Nonetheless, I am persisting with a petition -- to show public support to amend Section 377. So far, 65,000 people have signed it. My hope is to make the Prime Minister and his party aware that public sentiment has moved beyond the 19th century. If enough of us speak up, perhaps --just perhaps! -- we can make the government rethink its position."

Read Tharoor's petition addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi here:

"Section 377 should be amended so that all consensual sex between consenting adults irrespective of gender and sexuality is legal. But it should not legitimise forced sex, pedophilia or pederasty," reads the petition.

"Sign my petition and help me show the Prime Minister that Indians want Section 377 to be amended," it adds.

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