The Congress on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court decision to re-examine its 2013 order that criminalises gay sex saying the archaic provision should be repealed from the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“Congress welcomes Supreme Court’s decision,” All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev said soon after a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra referred a petition filed by five LGBT citizens seeking review of its 2013 order.

“Everybody has equal right to live life the way they want,” Dev said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari reiterated that the Congress favoured decriminalisation of gay sex.
“It is an archaic provision, which has no place in 21st century India… the time has come that either the courts must read down Section 377 or the government should repeal Section 377 from the IPC,” he said.

Meanwhile,e BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that Section 377 was required to punish same-sex partners who “flaunt it” or “celebrate it”.

“In their privacy what they do, nobody can invade, but if you flaunt it (sexuality), it has to be punished and therefore there has to be Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code,” Swamy argued.

“As long as they don’t celebrate it, don’t flaunt it, don’t create gay bars to select partners it’s not a problem,” the Rajya Sabha member added.

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