’s tweet for Orlando shooting victims sparks debate on India’s anti-gay law

Not long after the horrific shootings at a gay nightclub in Florida, on Sunday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his sympathy — "Shocked at the shootout in Orlando, USA. My thoughts & prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured." Politicians from other Indian political parties quickly followed suit, saying they were “shocked,” “deeply pained” and “saddened” by the killing that left 49 dead and scores more injured.

The sympathetic tweets promoted a quick backlash from those who want India’s Parliament to repeal a Colonial-era law that criminalizes homosexual acts. India is one of many countries around the world where gay sex is against the law. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code forbids “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” making such acts punishable with a fine and 10 years in jail.

“Want to give a strong reply to Orlando shooter and his ideology of hate?” one critic tweeted. “Stop treating gays as criminals. Repeal 377.”