Authorities call on top court to reject petitions seeking same-sex unions, saying it is against Indian family values
Same-sex marriage supporters in Delhi celebrate a 2018 historic court ruling which decriminalized homosexuality in India. (Photo: UCAN/IANS)
A Catholic Church official in India has welcomed the federal government opposing same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court as the court heard a plea seeking to legalize such unions.
“It is indeed a commendable job by the Indian government and we appreciate it," Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha of Mangalore, a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India's Office for Doctrine, told UCA News on March 13.
The Church considers same-sex marriage as unnatural and does not accept "that which is unnatural because we follow what God has taught us where a family dwells as father, mother, and children,” Saldanha said.
“The Catholic Church in India neither promotes nor propagates same-sex marriages. It is always for men and women and a happy family,” he added.
In an affidavit on March 12, the Indian government said it opposed recognizing same-sex marriages in the Supreme Court, saying it “is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children.”
“Living together as partners and having sexual relationships with same-sex individuals is not comparable with the Indian family concept,” India’s law ministry told the court.
The move was to counter at least 15 pleas filed in the top court seeking recognition of same-sex marriages. It comes after the Supreme Court's historic 2018 ruling, which decriminalized homosexuality by scrapping a colonial-era law.
The court on March 13 said the issue is "constitutional in nature" and a five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court will hear it from April 18.
Sister Anastasia Gill, a former member of the National Capital Territory of Delhi's minorities commission told UCA News that “as an individual Christian I respect same-sex couples as they are also the creation of God, but as an institution, we don’t accept them as husband and wife as it is against the Church's teachings.”
Gill, a lawyer in the Supreme Court, said, “It will be difficult for society to accept them [same-sex couples] as husband and wife because Indian society is not yet ready for it, and which believes in man, woman and children as a family.”
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