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    » 12/11/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Supreme Court rules homosexuality is a crime. Archbishop of Mumbai: Gays are not criminals

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The highest Indian court has overturned a 2009 judgment of the High Court of Mumbai , which had decriminalized homosexual acts. LGBT associations complain and accuse the Islamic and Christian religious organizations of lobbying to reinstate the ban. Card. Oswald Gracias, "No to gay marriage, but the Christian community is against any form of discrimination. Homosexuals have the same dignity as any other human being."

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Supreme Court of India has restored the law banning homosexuality as a "crime against nature". The nation's highest court has overturned a decision taken by the High Court of Delhi in 2009, which had decriminalized homosexual acts. The immediate reaction from gay rights activists was to lay the blame at the door of Islamic, Christian and Hindu religious associations accusing them of having lobbied to reintroduce the norm. However, speaking to AsiaNews Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Episcopal Conference of India, said that " the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalization of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals."

    On 2 July 2009, the Delhi High Court had repudiated sect. 377 (unnatural offenses) of the Indian Penal Code - a law dating back to the British colonial period - by establishing that sexual relations in private between two consenting adults was not a criminal offense. Until then, two homosexuals could be sentenced to 10 years in prison, or to life imprisonment in cases deemed particularly serious.

    The issue was reopened by BP Singhal, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Hindu ultra-nationalist party), which has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the verdict, stating that "such acts are illegal, immoral and contrary to the ethos of the culture Indian".

    "As Christians - reaffirms Card. Gracias to AsiaNews - we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalization of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse."

     

     

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    See also

    23/07/2013 INDIA
    Card. Gracias recalls Card. Pimenta, a servant of the Lord who loved Christ and India
    The archbishop of Mumbai, recalls the figure of the prelate, who died on July 20th. Collaborators for over 30 years, Card. Gracias emphasizes the cardinal’s "tireless and powerful voice against anti-life legislation," and his attention to the "formation in the seminary."

    14/02/2013 INDIA
    India: A day of thanks for Pope Benedict XVI and his Pontificate
    Card. Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, has launched a speacial Day on 22 February, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, to honour of the pope. In these eight years, the Holy Father has repeatedly identified the challenges facing India and Asia: a dialogue between cultures and religions, secularization, globalization and implementation of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

    31/03/2010 INDIA
    Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
    The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India gives AsiaNews his personal Easter reflection. He invites the faithful and the clergy to promote with love and courage the Church’s mission rather than fear conversions.

    23/04/2013 INDIA
    India: more than 48 thousand children abused between 2001-2011
    Statistics revealed in a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR). The main victims are girls, mostly assaulted in state-run orphanages and institutions. Card. Gracias, president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), tells AsiaNews: "The protection of children is at the heart of the education, social and health care ministry of the Catholic Church in India."

    30/04/2009 INDIA
    Catholics to vote for a fairer India, Mumbai Cardinal says
    Oswald Gracias appeals again to Christians to go out and vote. The next government has two tasks to fulfill: to guarantee the separation of state and church and fight poverty.



    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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