A group of religious leaders alleged on Thursday that the campaign to legalise homosexuality in the country was part of a conspiracy to destroy India's moral and social values.
The Supreme Court also issued a notice to the government, seeking its view on whether a petition challenging the Delhi High Court order of July 2, which decriminalised homosexual behaviour between consenting adults, should be admitted.
Clerics from the Muslim, Christian, Jain and Sikh communities held a joint press conference to denounce the judgement, insisting that homosexuality was opposed to the laws of nature and the will of God.
With some Hindu leaders having already condemned the judgement and well-known yoga guru Swami Ramdev announcing his intention to contest it in court, the phalanx of religious opinion opposed to the verdict is complete.
It is, however, the petition already filed by a Hindu astrologer, Suresh Kumar Kaushal, demanding quashing of the high court verdict, that the Supreme Court has acted upon.
It has sought the government’s opinion, as well as that of various agencies involved with the issue, by July 20.
These include Naz Foundation, the NGO that filed the earlier petition on which the Delhi High Court announced its verdict.
“Homosexuality is a punishable offence in the Shariat (Muslim religious law),” said Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind at the press conference.. “Individual rights are not absolute but are subject to public order, morality and health.”
“We strongly believe that sex between same sex partners is immoral, unnatural and objectionable,” said Father Dominic Emmanuel, spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. “We also fear that such activities will result in the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
Of 200 odd countries in the world, 125 have already legalised homosexuality.