Goa minister says his LGTB comments misquoted

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Panaji, Jan 13 (IANS) Facing flak both nationally and internationally for his comments Monday on the need to “cure” LGBT youth, Goa’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ramesh Tawadkar Tuesday claimed he was “misquoted” by the media.

Speaking to reporters here, Tawadkar said he was actually speaking about drug-addict youth and not those from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender community.
“I was not talking about the LGBT (youths) but about drug-addict and sexually-abused youth,” Tawadkar said today.
Tawadkar, while speaking to the media Monday on the sidelines of the launch of the Goa State Youth Policy 2015, had said that the Goa government was contemplating to start centres on the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous in order to make the LGBT youth normal.
“We will train them and (give them) medicines too,” he had also said.
The comments have drawn flak, in the international media, the social media as well as among the opposition ranks here.
Comments on Twitter with hashtag #ClinicBharo dedicated to Tawadkar’s statement took a dig at the Goa minister for his comments.
Says Manak Matiyani @Dafliwala: “So are they allocating land close to the beach for the #GoaLGBTClinics? Must take a dip with other patients #ClinicBharo with #AnonymousLGBT”
@delhiqueerpride tweeted: “Hope the GoaGovernment clinics have separate gender dorms #AdmitLGBTAnonymous #ClinicBharo”
The main opposition Congress party has also criticised Tawadkar for what it calls making an “unscientific, illogical and brainless” statement.
“Everyone has a right to live their life the way they want to. This statement is similar to the statement made by Baba Ramdev in 2013, when he had also offered to ‘cure’ homosexuality. Is the BJP government in Goa toeing the Ramdev line,” asked Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat.

Last modified: January 13, 2015