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Churches is India are planning to fight India’s decriminalization of gay sex

Churches is India are planning to fight India’s decriminalization of gay sex

Nagaland Baptist Church Council Executive Meeting (Photo: nbcc.com)

Churches in Northeast India will meet this month to officially protest India’s decriminalization of homosexuality.

On 6 September, India’s Supreme Court ruled that elements of Section 377 of the Penal Code were unconstitutional. Judges ruled punishing gay sex with up to ten years in prison violated rights to privacy.

What’s more, the judges’ verdict enshrined equality for millions of LGBTI Indians.

But, churches in majority-Christian Nagaland have said ‘what is legally upheld need not be morally acceptable’, according to the Times of India.

The Nagaland Baptist Church Council will convene on 31 October to ‘come up with a comprehensive document to discourage homosexuality’.

“Forming guidelines to uphold the teachings of the Bible is a moral imperative. Anything that goes against God’s design cannot be encouraged,” general secretary of NBCC Reverend Zelhou Keyho said.

‘Not a European Country’

India’s 1861 Penal Code criminalized ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. The law applied to anal and oral sex, with LGBTI advocates arguing it criminalizes homosexuality.

In recent weeks, the judiciary has shown it is keen to uphold the ruling in LGBTI cases. Judges in Kerala and Delhi ruled in favor of same-sex couples who were being harassed by their families.

coalition of Muslim groups in the country’s north, however, spoke out about the Supreme Court’s decision.

Anjuman-e-Imamia’s Jammu chapter told a press conference earlier this month gay sex was against nature.

Vice President, Syed Afaq Kazmi, said it went against the rich cultural traditions of India and appealed to the government to reject the decision. ‘There are strong objections from various sections of the society,” Kazmi said, according to the Tribune.

A Muslim cleric, also present at the press conference, Maulana Sheikh Mohammad Ali Mohammadi, said the top court verdict was a threat to age-old social and ethical values of Indian culture.

Showqat Gujjar, of the Gujjar Federation, reportedly said: ‘Ours is not a European society. No doubt women should be given equal rights, but this is something which is unacceptable.’

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