Section 377 criminalising ‘unnatural sex’ may be scrapped, says Sadananda Gowda



By NewsGram Staff Writer

After the historic US verdict legalising same sex marriage received positive reception on social media, India may be planning to move along similar lines.

Union Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda has indicated that India could move towards abolishing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises ‘unnatural sex’,  including gay liaisons.

Legalisation of gay marriages could also be considered, Gowda said.

“The mood appears to be in favour of it. But it can be done only after widespread consultations and taking all views into account”, added the minister.

For a politician hailing from Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district, the conservative part of the Mangaluru Lok Sabha constituency, Gowda has taken a radical stance.

The coastal belt is known as a stronghold of the Sangh Parivar, and has strong, and negative views on homosexuality.

Irrespective of the views of his patrons,  Gowda contends that a legislation on the rights of transgenders could provide a model for the Indian gay community.

To emphasize the possibility, Gowda pointed out that after several years of delay, a private member’s Bill on the rights of transgenders, moved in the Rajya Sabha by Tiruchi Siva of DMK, had received overwhelming response.

“That Bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha (in April) and everyone supported it. If that Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha and becomes an Act, Section 377 will become irrelevant,” Gowda said.

However, Gowda’s remarks on the fallout of the legislation on transgenders were somewhat away from reality.

“My bill was just limited to the educational, economic, employment and health rights of transgenders”, Tiruchi Siva of DMK told ET.

The minister added that the bill did not talk about Section 377 or anything other than the rights of transgenders.