Mumbai: The Maharashtra unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today took strong objection to the “anti-LGBT remarks” by Maharashtra Health Minister Deepak Sawant while replying to a question in the state Assembly’s ongoing Budget session.
“Sawant allegedly said that Members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community need “psychological treatment and counselling” in order to prevent the spread of HIV,” an AAP release said. Terming the statement as regressive, grossly insensitive and violative of basic human rights, AAP condemned it and demanded an apology from the minister as well as clarification of the state government’s stand in this regard from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
“AAP had supported the rights of sexual minorities in the past while they were protesting for their rights in Delhi. AAP is also committed to decriminalisation of homosexuality,” the release said. “The matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court and our elected representatives must have an open legislative discussion based on facts on the issue rather than make ridiculous and factually incorrect remarks,” it said further. That the statement comes from no less than Maharashtra’s Health Minister and was not opposed by other legislators in the House is worrisome as it reveals the regressive mindset of our elected representatives in particular and the political class in general, it said.