Tuesday, June 30, 2009

After the Euphoria, Reality Bites

Gay law: Govt can't take decision in a hurry, says Moily

Agencies Posted: Monday , Jun 29, 2009 at 1707 hrs IST

Veerappa Moily

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.

Asked whether Government was backtracking after favouring repeal of the law, Moily said his earlier remarks had been "misinterpreted".

Muslim clerics oppose gays’ demand for scrapping Sec 377 in India



By Khabrein.Info Correspondent,

New Delhi, June 29, 2009: Muslim clerics have reacted angrily to gays demand for scrapping Sec 377 in India. They say that if this ‘senseless’ action is taken, it will create sexual anarchy in the country and will break family norms.

On Sunday when gays and lesbians gathered in significant numbers in metro cities in India demanding scrapping of Sec 377 that bans gay and lesbian union, many Muslim clerics have said that they will not allow it to happen.

Several newspapers and gay right NGOs have ran campaigns in the country in recent weeks demanding that the ban on gay and lesbian marriages be lifted. There were even hints from government that the section that bars it may be amended. But Muslim and Christian clergy has opposed the move.

Rector of world famous seminary Darul Uloo, Deoband says that the same sex marriage was not just against the Indian traditions but was also against the teachings of all religions. He said that Islam is severely opposed to same sex marriages and added that such things will put even animals to shame.

Maulana Salim Qasmi, vice president of All India Muslim Personal law Board (AIMPB) says that giving rise to a western disease will be a big mistake by the Indian government. He said that this act is prohibited by all the religions of the world and it will be simply crazy to allow such things to grow in India.

He went on to add that Home Minister P Chidambaram should take similarly tough stand against homosexuality that was taken by his predecessor Shivraj Patil.




Gay sex against tenets of Islam: Deoband

29 Jun 2009, 1353 hrs IST, PTI

MUZAFFARNAGAR, UP: A leading Islamic seminary on Monday opposed Centre's move to repeal a controversial section of the penal law which criminalises homosexuality saying unnatural sex is against the tenets of Islam.

"Homosexuality is an offence under Shariat Law and haram (prohibited) in Islam," deputy vice chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband Maulana Abdul Khalik Madrasi said.

Madrasi also asked the government not to repeal section 377 of IPC which criminalises homosexuality.

His objection came a day after law minister Veerappa Moily said a decision on repealing the section would be taken only after considering concerns of all sections of the society, including religious groups like the church.

Terming gay activities as crime, Maulana Salim Kasmi, vice-president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said homosexuality is punishable under Islamic law and section 377 of IPC should not be tampered.

Maulana Mohd Sufiyan Kasmi, an AIMPLB member, and Mufti Zulfikar, president of Uttar Pradesh Imam Organisation have also expressed similar views on the issue.

Kasmi said it would be harmful for the society to legalise gay sex.

Buoyed by the news that the Centre is considering repealing the controversial section of the IPC, members of the gay community on Sunday held parades in several cities.


India faith leaders: Anti-gay law must stay

  • Story Highlights
  • Religious groups in India say they will oppose moves to legalize homosexuality
  • Federal government set to hold talks on law classifying same-sex acts as crimes
  • Court due to rule on petition filed by nonprofit group challenging anti-gay law

June 29, 2009 -- Updated 0017 GMT (0817 HKT)

By Harmeet Shah Singh


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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.

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. VideoWatch a New Delhi march in support of gay rights »

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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