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Religious leaders laud gay sex ban in India

Religious leaders laud gay sex ban in India

In a rare display of unity, six leaders of different religious hues in India have released a joint statement to commend the apex court’s decision to reaffirm the country’s colonial anti-sodomy law, and warn against any repeal in violation of eastern culture.

‘The decision of the Supreme Court on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is not only in line with the eastern traditions of this country, moral values and religious teachings but it also removes apprehensions about invasion of western culture and disintegration of family system and fabric of social life – the inevitable fallouts of the Delhi High Court order of 2009 wherein it decriminalized homosexuality,’ the statement reads.

Homosexuality endangers women’s central position in society, prevents evolution and progress of the human race, destroys the family system and social relations, and brings danger to public health by spreading AIDS, say the religious leaders.

They are warning ‘lovers of western culture’ not to use ‘lame excuses’ such as individual freedom to press the authorities to legalize this ‘shameless and criminal offence’ against religious teachings, eastern culture and public consensus.

‘Such filthy experiments have destroyed human society and violated the rights of women at a large scale in the west,’ the statement reads. ‘We should learn from it.’

The Indian central government has apparently not heeded the warning. It has asked for a judicial review of the decision to recriminalize gay sex, since it was ‘violative of the principle of equality.’

It has, however, stopped short of repealing the ruling outright by passing a bill. With a general election due next spring, observerssay the government is too weak to take on such a controversial issue.

But on the heels of the successful ‘Gay for a Day’ campaign last week, yet more people are coming out in support of gay rights today (Dec 21). Students from MS University in Vadodara, Gujarat will stage a protest, perform in short street plays and hold a discussion forum.

The signatories mentioned above include Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari (Islam), Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmed (Islam), Jagat Guru Swami Omkar Anand (Hindu), Gyani Ranjit Singh (Sikh), Fr. Dominic Emmanuel (Catholic) and Lokesh Muni (Jain). Their joint statement and some responses to it can be found here.