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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Gays not part of God's plan, say different religious leaders in India

The gay issue has caused debate on 'immorality' , 'unnatural' and 'unethical' aspects of society. We will post further articles on these issues later.
Read earlier blog-postings

Gays not part of God's plan, say different religious leaders in India
3 Jul 2009
The Delhi high court’s reading down of IPC’s Section 377 that de-criminalises same sex relationships has set a cat among the religious pigeons.
Leaders of faith across the spectrum are appalled — albeit to varying degrees — by the judgment. While Reverend Dominic Emmanuel, spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, said the Catholic church has nothing against gays per se, he stressed, ‘‘We strongly believe that sex between same sex partners is immoral, unnatural and unethical.’’

His counterpart in Mumbai, Rev. Tony Charanghat, agreed, saying, ‘‘While homosexuals have to be treated with respect, homosexuality can’t be equated with heterosexuality. The nature of sex should be complementary to life, which is God’s design.’’

In fact, Mumbai’s Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) circulated mass SMSs last week appealing to Catholics to protest against the move to legalize homosexuality. Now, with the verdict in favour of gays, CSF will appeal against the judgment. ‘‘We protest on both, health and religious grounds,’’ says Joseph Dias, CSF general secretary.

‘‘We have statistics to prove that a large number of HIV cases are gay, and this verdict may lead to an AIDS epidemic of sorts,’’ Dias added.

Yoga teacher Swami Ramdev minced no words. ‘‘Do the people behind this verdict consider homosexuality natural? Is it something they will themselves do? If our parents had been gays, would we have been born? Freedom doesn’t mean licence. Our family system is the only ideal we can show to the world. Sadly, this judgment will end up corrupting it. I will be part of every protest against the judgment.’’

Muslim clerics in both Mumbai and Delhi expressed shock. ‘‘India is secular, but most Indians are religious and no religion allows this. If homosexuality is legalised, it will damage our cultural and moral values.

“There should be a parliamentary debate and more stringent laws to discourage people to avoid unnatural sex,’’ said Maulana Mehmood Madani, general secretary, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

Kamal Farooqui of the Muslim Personal Law Board said, ‘‘We want the government to appeal against the court verdict,’’ he said.

Gyani Gurbachan Singh, head priest of Akal Takht, fumed, ‘‘We oppose this decision. It’s against the law of nature. We appeal to the government to rethink the issue and ask the Sikh community to boycott this verdict, as it is against the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib.’’

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