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Gay issue: Anbumani to meet PM

October 01, 2008 19:56 IST

Faced with stiff resistance from the Union Home Ministry for his efforts to do away with Section 377 of IPC which penalises gay sex, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today said he and other "like-minded" colleagues planned to meet PM Manmohan Singh [Images] and seek a solution.

Ramadoss also called for "more progressive view" from the home ministry and said, "I want to "decriminalise" this act."

"We like-minded ministers like Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandez and other colleagues are going to take up the issue with PM and hopeful (of a solution)," he said.

"We want the home ministry to be more progressive, not the Home Minister (Shivraj Patil [Images])," he said.

"The health ministry stands by whatever it has said (as regards decriminalising gay sex) and we are raising this issue only on health grounds," the Minister, who has earned the appreciation of gay rights activists, said.

 "In India, about 86 per cent HIV/AIDS affected persons are 'Men Having Sex with Men' (MSM) and it is increasing. According to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a doctor treating such a person for HIV/AIDS can be jailed as it is an offence and so can be the case with a social worker who can also be jailed," he said.

"There is an estimated number of 4.5 million MSMs across the country and the number is growing rapidly," he said.

 "We don't want the HIV/AIDS situation to go out of control," he added.

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