Church leaders request PM to oppose homosexuality

By: John Malhotra
Monday, 14 December 2009, 16:23 (IST)
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was last week urged to oppose the decriminalizing of homosexuality in India.

An inter-faith delegation led by Archbishop of Delhi, Vincent M Concessao, on Dec. 9 met the Prime Minister and informed him the consequences of the July 2 Delhi High Court verdict that legalized consensual gay sex by overturning a 148-year-old colonial law.

At a press briefing, Archbishop Concessao said the Prime Minister had taken cognizance of the danger but was helpless as the Supreme Court is to decide on the ruling.

The prelate along with the delegation had informed Singh on the negative repercussion the ruling is to have on the society.

Singh also was told that the decision would open a Pandora’s box with gay marriage and adoption rights following suit.

The Church, says Concessao, does not stigmatise or marginalise gay people, but what it really feared was that the legalizing of homosexuality will increase cases of sexually transmitted diseases and create a social disorder.

He declared that "anything which goes against the definition of being a man, woman and animal are unnatural" and must be opposed.

The High Court’s decision in July came after nine years of legal proceedings initiated by India’s gay groups.

The verdict although delighted gay activists and health workers, caused anger and disbelief among all religious organisations.

Dismayed over the ruling, religious leaders in July passed a resolution that reiterated their opposition to the High Court verdict. They stated in the resolution that homosexuality was against the laws of nature and must be unlicensed.

Meanwhile, theological experts who met earlier this month at Kolkata for a roundtable on churches' response to human sexuality urged Christians not to eschew sexual minorities.

Church as a ‘Just and Inclusive Community’, they said is called to become a community without walls to reach out to people who are stigmatized and demonized.

They urged church communities to “sojourn with sexual minorities and their families without prejudice and discrimination, to provide them ministries of love, compassionate care, and justice.”

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