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Indian Minister Under Fire Over Plan To Make Gays 'Normal'

File photo of Bharatiya Janata Party supporters in the the western Indian state of Gujarat.

A state minister has caused outrage in India by announcing plans to make homosexuals "normal" at treatment centers in the Goa resort region.

Ramesh Tawadkar, the sports and youth affairs minister in Goa, said on January 12 that the Goa government was planning to open centers to treat gays and lesbians.

"We will have centers for them, like Alcoholics Anonymous centers," Tawadkar told reporters, adding that the government would "train them and give them medicines."

Tawadkar is a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Gay rights groups described his comments as offensive and ignorant, and the main opposition Congress party said his attitude was shameless.

Tawadkar said on January 13 that he had been "misunderstood."

India's Supreme Court reimposed a ban on gay sex in 2013.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and