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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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Several Western Diplomats Attend Gay-Pride Parade in Kyiv

Organizers of the "March of Equality" have said that they expect 10,000 people to participate in the event on June 23

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gay-pride parade
Organizers of the "March of Equality" have said that they expect 10,000 people to participate in the event on June 23. RFERL

Thousands of supporters of LGBT rights are doing a gay-pride parade in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv under a heavy police presence.

Organizers of the “March of Equality” have said that they expect 10,000 people to participate in the event on June 23. Several Western diplomats are also attending the event.

​Police said that nine people were arrested on suspicion of preparing provocations against participants in the Kyiv Pride event.

Gay-pride parade
Gay Pride Procession. Pixabay

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Organizers have said that their goal is to promote “full respect” for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) minority.

The Pride parade has been held in Kyiv since 2016 amid protests by opponents, including right-wing activists and representatives of religious organizations. (RFERL)