Gay law: Govt can't take decision in a hurry, says Moily
Agencies Posted: Monday , Jun 29, 2009 at 1707 hrs IST
Veerappa Moily said a decision on the gay issue would be taken only after considering concerns of all sections of society.
Government will not take a decision in a hurry to repeal the controversial Section 377 of IPC which criminalises homosexuality, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said on Monday following concerns voiced by some Christian and Muslim religious groups against the step.
The Government cannot take a decision in a hurry. We need to apply our mind," he told reporters here adding "we are examining it."
The Minister had stated in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday that a decision on the issue would be taken only after considering concerns of all sections of society, including religious groups.
A meeting of the Union Home, Health and Law Ministers is expected be held to have a re-look at Section 377 of IPC that prohibits sex between people of the same gender.
Muslim clerics oppose gays’ demand for scrapping Sec 377 in India
By Khabrein.Info Correspondent,
India faith leaders: Anti-gay law must stay
June 29, 2009 -- Updated 0017 GMT (0817 HKT)
By Harmeet Shah Singh
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Religious groups in India have warned they will oppose any move to legalize homosexuality as the federal government prepares to hold talks on a law that classifies same-sex acts as crimes.
An Indian gay activist participates in a gay pride march in Bangalore on Sunday.
India's Hindu nationalist main opposition has in the meantime called for a national debate on the legislation that law minister M. Veerappa Moily last week said would come up for a discussion within the government.
"This is a sensitive issue and warrants a debate within the Indian society at large before arriving at any decision," said Sidharth Nath Singh, spokesman for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
An Indian court is due to give its judgment on a petition filed by a nonprofit group that has challenged the anti-gay provision of the penal code.
In a news conference last week, Moily refused to spell out his government's stand on it because it awaits judicial determination. But his comments that the federal home minister was "contemplating" a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues on the law drew widespread coverage in the largely conservative country.
"Hope floats at rainbow parades," read a caption on a front-page picture from a gay parade in New Delhi in Monday's Times of India newspaper.
Participants in that march demanded repeal of Section 377 of the penal code, which criminalizes private consensual sex between adults of the same gender in the country.
Religious leaders, however, oppose any suggestion to scrap 377, describing homosexuality as "unnatural."
"We are against calling homosexuality a criminal activity, but we are certainly in principle against legalizing it, because that would mean the state endorsing same-sex relationships," said Babu Joseph, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.
Homosexuality "violates fundamental norms of a family," he said.
In his remarks, Kamal Faruqui of India's Muslim Personal Law Board outlined what he said was Islam's position on same-sex unions.
"Islam is totally against it. Islam does not allow any unnatural act. No Muslim in the world, let alone India, can ever support it," Faruqui said.
India's top Sikh administration echoed similar opposition.
"Homosexuality is unnatural," said Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, general secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which administers historical Sikh shrines, mainly in Punjab state. "We oppose any proposal to give legitimacy to such acts," Bhaur added.
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