Indian churches call for the decriminalisation of homosexuality
A coalition of Christian churches in India has called for the country to end its ban on being gay.
The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), which represents about 14 million people, has published an open letter arguing homosexuality should be decriminalised.
India’s Supreme Court is considering overturning a colonial-era law that criminalises homosexual acts.
“Homosexuality and homo-eroticism have been practiced in India from time immemorial,” the letter says.
It adds: “Homosexual activity was never condemned or criminalized in ancient India.”
The group argues that the anti-gay law is a hangover over British colonialists, who introduced the concept of homophobia to India based on Victorian values.
“Churches in India need to give responsible consideration to the initiative of the Supreme Court of India to review Sec 377 in the light of constitutional rights and the right to privacy, and the gospel of justice and love.
“As followers of the non-conformist Christ, the one who consistently questioned unjust and non-compassionate traditions of public morality, our call is to reject all laws that demonise, criminalise, and exclude human beings, and work to facilitate just inclusive and loving communities.”
The letter comes at a crucial time as Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which outlaws sex between men, is to be re-examined by India’s top court to determine its validity.
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