Church Calls to Recognize Supreme Court's Move to Review Sec 377

Published 17 January 2018  |  
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The ecumenical church body on Jan. 11 has called the churches in India to consider the initiative of the Supreme Court of India to review Sec 377 in the light of constitutional rights and the right to privacy, and the gospel of justice and love.

A statement from the National Ecumenical Forum for Gender and Sexual Diversities of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) came just after the apex court on Jan. 8 decided to refer to a Constitution Bench a petition seeking to quash Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality.

In a verdict on Aug. 24, 2017, a constitution bench of the apex court held that "right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under the Constitution."

"Discrete and insular minorities face grave dangers of discrimination for the simple reason that their views, beliefs or way of life does not accord with the 'mainstream.' Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy. Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual," it added.

The decision gave a great boost to the initiatives to decriminalize homoeroticism in country.

"The apex court has observed that a section of people cannot live in fear of the law which atrophies their right to choice and natural sexual inclinations," the statement read.

Following the move of the court, NCCI urged all the churches in India to include and love all communities.

"As followers of the non-conformist Christ, the one who consistently questioned unjust and non-compassionate traditions of public morality, our call is to reject all laws that demonize, criminalize, and exclude human beings, and work to facilitate just inclusive and loving communities," it added.

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