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Shashi Tharoor fails to introduce bill to decriminalize gay sex

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New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s bill to decriminalize gay sex could not be passed as members from ruling BJP and even his own party walked out on Friday’s Lok Sabha session.

The bill met with strong opposition and was also rejected by Law Minister Sadananda Gowda.

Only 24 lawmakers spoke in favour of the bill with a large number of lawmakers voting out the bill.

“Surprising to see such intolerance,” Mr Tharoor tweeted.

Former union minister Tharoor sought to introduce a bill to amend Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits sex “against the order of nature”.

This phrase was sought to be dropped by the proposed bill, along with legalizing consensual sex between adults, irrespective of sexuality and gender.

Lawmakers from Kerala gave the proceedings a miss due to the impending Kerala elections in a few months.

The Delhi High Court, in 2009, exempted consensual gay sex from Section 377, stating that the law went against the right to equality, privacy, and personal liberty.

However, in 2013, the Supreme Court, finding the law constitutionally valid, restored the ban and left it in the hands of the Parliament to remove or change the law.

At that time, the ruling Congress Party stood against the decision to restore the ban while the BJP supported Section 377. However, since the BJP came to power last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has supported calls for changing the law and ending the ban.

“When you have millions of people involved in this (gay sex) you can’t nudge them off,” said the minister at an event last month.

“When millions of people world over are having alternative sexual preferences, it is too late in the day to propound a view that they should be jailed. The Delhi High Court’s view appears more acceptable,” Jaitley commented.

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Watch Jaipur Literature Festival live on Twitter

The first live stream session is available to both logged-in and logged-out Twitter users on Twitter and connected devices globally

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Shashi Tharoor in Jaipur Literature Festival. Facebook
Shashi Tharoor in Jaipur Literature Festival. Facebook

Twitter on Thursday collaborated with Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 and announced select sessions from the event will be live-streamed on the platform, as the literary world prepares for the largest convention of writers, thinkers, and cultural icons.

Twitter users can watch the live stream of the event on Zee Jaipur Literature Festival’s official Twitter handle @ZEEJLF.

“We’ve been partnering with the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival for the past three years and are happy to strengthen our content association with live streaming,” Keya Madhvani, Head – Music and Lifestyle Partnerships, Twitter India, said in a statement.

“This is the first time people on Twitter can see what’s happening at India’s biggest literary show,” Madhvani added.

The first live stream session is available to both logged-in and logged-out Twitter users on Twitter and connected devices globally.

Users can also retweet or like tweets from @ZEEJLF handle to receive reminders about when the sessions go live. (IANS)

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