Church voices 'same sex union' fears

The Catholic Church is apprehensive that now that private homosexual acts between consenting adults has been decriminalised, the Supreme Court order would be seen as a "moral justification and moral acceptability" of same-sex relationships.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 8.09.18
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LGBT community members celebrate outside the Supreme Court. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi: The Catholic Church is apprehensive that now that private homosexual acts between consenting adults has been decriminalised, the Supreme Court order would be seen as a "moral justification and moral acceptability" of same-sex relationships.

The Church also fears that this in turn could trigger a demand for "same sex unions on a par with marriage" and legalisation of the rights of such couples to adopt children.

In a detailed response to the decriminalisation of IPC Section 377, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India's Office of Justice, Peace and Development said: "The Catholic Church (and many others) hold that homosexual behaviour (between consenting adults) is morally unacceptable because it violates the purpose of human sexuality which is procreation and union of love fulfilled in the loving union of man and woman in marriage.

"This is the moral stand of the Catholic Church. In Catholic moral perspective, homosexual acts or behaviour is morally unacceptable."

Stating that it respects the dignity of homosexuals, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India expressed a view similar to that of the RSS. "It is important to... reach out to homosexuals in care and concern including the psychological and sociological aspects, and it is the need of the hour," the CBCI said.

In its reaction to the Supreme Court order, the RSS had on Thursday said: "Like the Supreme Court, we also do not consider this to be a crime. The same sex marriages are not compatible with norms of nature so we do not support such relations.... This issue needs to be taken care of at the social and psychological level."