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It is the govt.'s responsibility to protect LGBT rights, says Harsh Vardhan

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said here on Thursday that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community

"It is government's responsibility to protect everyone's human rights," said Harsh Vardhan.

Earlier, on July 13, the people from LGBT community took part in the annual pride march in Kolkata which was organised to demand the right to gender and sexual expressions.

Gays continue to face a social stigma in India, where hugging and kissing in public even among heterosexual couples is strongly frowned upon.

On July 2, 2009, the Delhi High Court overturned the colonial-era law of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), that described homosexual love-making as carnal intercourse against the order of nature, calling it a violation of an individual's rights to freedom under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution in cases dealing with gay sex, provided it is by consent of both individuals.

However, the Supreme Court on December 11, 2013, reinstated the ban on gay sex in the world's largest democracy, following the four-year period of decriminalisation that had helped bring homosexuality into open in the socially conservative country.

Section 377 IPC banned 'sex against the order of nature', and is widely interpreted to mean homosexual sex in India and the person committing the Act can be punished with up to 10 years in jail. The rule dates back to the days of British colonial rule in India.

First Published: Thu, July 17 2014. 13:57 IST