Hosabale Dashes Raised Hopes over RSS Stance on Homosexuality

This was seen as a signal to the government to decriminalise homosexuality by amending Section 377 of the IPC.

Published: 19th March 2016 05:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2016 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: A day after senior RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale announced a significant shift in the Sangh’s position by remarking homosexuality was not crime and sexual preferences were a personal choice, he revised his position on Friday to say that it was a “socially immoral act” and demanded a ban on gay marriages.

Hosable had created a flutter on Thursday by articulating the RSS’ position, during a media house event, as being that homosexuality was not a crime as long as it did not affect the lives of others and sexual preferences were personal issues. This was seen as a signal to the government to decriminalise homosexuality by amending Section 377 of the IPC.

Hosabale.jpgHowever, on Friday morning, Hosabale, nuanced his position, in what many saw as a flip flop. Hosable took to Twitter to say, “Homosexuality is not a crime, but socially immoral act in our society. No need to punish, but to be treated as a psychological case.”

“Gay marriage is institutionalisation of homosexuality. It should be prohibited,” the RSS’ joint general secretary added. His earlier statement had been seen as major ideological shift in the RSS. In his tweets, he reverted to an old Sangh position that homosexuality was a psychological issue.

Officially, the BJP refused to comment on his statement, saying the RSS leader had said whatever he wanted to. Hosable had reacted at an event when asked if homosexuality was a crime, saying, “I don’t think homosexuality should be considered a criminal offence as long as it does not affect the lives of others in society.” He added, “Sexual preferences are private and personal. Why should RSS express its views in a public forum? RSS has no view on that... Personal preference of sex is not discussed in RSS and we don’t want to discuss that.”

Section 377 sees homosexuality as “unnatural and a criminal offence punishable by a maximum of 10 years in jail. There have been demands to amend the section. Some BJP leaders have supported these demands. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, last week tried and failed to introduce a private member’s bill to decriminalise homosexuality in the Lok Sabha after members opposed the move.


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