India’s Opposition BJP Calls Homosexuality Unnatural

Declaration seen as further setback for LGBT rights

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Saurabh Das / AP

Gay rights activists attend a protest meeting after the top Indian court ruled that a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality will remain in effect in India in New Delhi, on Dec. 11, 2013.

India’s main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has said it is in favor of the Supreme Court’s reinstatement of a ban on homosexuality, in a further setback for LGBT rights in the world’s largest democracy.

Many believe the BJP will either win or be in a position to lead a coalition government in India’s next general elections, scheduled for 2014.

On Sunday, BJP president Rajnath Singh claimed in Indian newspaper the Telegraph that homosexuality was an “unnatural act.” His view was later backed by party spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who portrayed homosexuality as part of “Western culture.”

Sonia Gandhi, leader of the incumbent Congress party, has issued a statement expressing her disappointment with the court’s ruling.