MUMBAI: Political parties in Maharashtra Thursday hailed the Supreme Court verdict on decriminalising gay sex, with the Congress terming the judgement as a big jolt to the BJP and RSS' "conservative" and "narrow" mindset.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the party has long been seeking a relook at Section 377 of the IPC as everybody has an equal right to live life the way they want.
"This verdict is a big jolt to the conservative and narrow mindset of the BJP and the RSS leadership, who wanted to govern what people should eat and their sexual orientation," Sawant said.
When contacted, BJP leaders here refused to comment on the SC verdict. Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said everybody is bound by the judgement of the apex court.
"Everybody has freedom of speech, the right to eat what they want. Now they have the right to live the way they want," she said.
Congress MLA Nitesh Rane said, "Today, India has changed forever and for good."
NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said the "outdated" law caused unnecessary harassment to the LGBT community, but the Supreme Court verdict has brought clarity on the issue, which is good for the country.
"Many progressive nations in the country do not have any legal issues with the LGBT community. After the Supreme Court verdict on this outdated law, it will be immensely beneficial for India, considered to be a liberal and progressive society," the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council said.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the rights to equality.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra termed it irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.