Catholic leaders applaud govt's opposition to same-sex marriages

(Photo: Unsplash/Sandy Millar)

The Indian government challenged the Supreme Court's legalisation of same-sex marriages because they are not comparable with the Indian family unit idea of “a husband, a wife and children," according to an affidavit it submitted on March 12.

The Indian law ministry informed the court that living as partners and having sex with people of the same sex are not comparable to the Indian idea of the family.

The action was taken to oppose at least 15 petitions for the highest court's acceptance of same-sex unions. That follows the Supreme Court's landmark 2018 decision, which eliminated a statute from the colonial era and decriminalised homosexuality.

A representative of the Catholic Church in the country has praised the federal government's decision, stating that the Church believes same-sex marriage is unnatural.

Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha of Mangalore told UCA News that the Church adheres to what God has taught as family and does not tolerate anything that is "unnatural.”

“The Catholic Church in India neither promotes nor propagates same-sex marriages. It is always for men and women and a happy family," he said.

As a practising Christian, Sister Anastasia Gill, a lawyer in the Supreme Court, told UCA News, "I respect same-sex couples as they are also the creation of God, but as an institution, we don’t accept them as husband and wife as it is against the Church's teachings.”

“It will be difficult for society to accept them [same-sex couples] as husband and wife because Indian society is not yet ready for it, and which believes in man, woman and children as a family," Gill, a former member of the National Capital Territory of Delhi's minorities commission, added.