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NEICC ask UPA to appeal in SC
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 8:
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Published on 9 Jul. 2009 12:42 AM IST
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Opposing the decriminalisation of homosexuality, protestant churches in India’s North Eastern States today asked the Congress-led UPA government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgment. “We demanded from the UPA government to either file a review petition in the Delhi High Court or appeal in the Supreme Court against the ruling of the two-judge bench,” the North East India Christian Council (NEICC) Spokesman Pastor N Sandiwell Phawa said. NEICC, an influential umbrella body of Protestant churches in North East also appealed to members of both Houses of the Parliament to maintain status quo on the existing law. “We have decided not to accept the interpretation of the High Court on Section 377 of IPC, even if the Parliament decides to amend or delete the same,” he said. The NEICC also made it clear that as per Christian tenets, Christians will never accept any change to the existing law. The NEICC have also asked the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) should respond "appropriately" to the said ruling in line with Biblical teachings. This apart, the Catholic Church which has consistently opposed homosexual behavior said, “The Church is very clear that gay relations are against the order of nature and divine will.” “We disagree with the government. We consider gay sex as an immoral act and against the order of nature. There is a need to review the section,” a Spokesman of the Catholic Church said. Meanwhile, the National Council of Churches in India would meet at Bangalore on July 9 to discuss the outcome of today’s High Court ruling. The Delhi High Court had decriminalised homosexual relations between consenting adults by calling for suitable amendment to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Hearing a petition of Naz foundation, a bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S Muralidhar said if not amended, Section 377 of the IPC would violate Article 21 of the Indian constitution, which states that every citizen has equal opportunity of life and is equal before the law. Section 377, a law from the British Raj era, says homosexuality and 'unnatural sex' is a criminal act. The bench said it was not illegal for woman and woman or man and man to have private consensual sex. Gay rights activists condemn threat Gay rights activists today condemned threats made by Hynniewtrep National Social People’s Organisations (HPSO) to take actions against eunuchs in Meghalaya. The HPSO’s threat came about after the Delhi High Court order legalising homosexual relations by decriminalising Section 377 IPC. Expressing concerns on the increase numbers of gays in the state, the HPSO General Secretary A Kharchandy warned to take actions against eunuchs for their activities which are the eyesore to the society. “We are concerned on the increase number of gays in shillong, which is an eyesore to our society,” Mr Kharchandy said, while warning that actions will be against the eunuchs for indulging in activities which is against the indigenous culture of the Khasi people. However, gay rights activists under the banner of Meghalaya Legal Aids Forum (MLAF) termed HPSO’s threat as “criminal intimidation” and offered legal assistance to gay community if they are discriminate in the society. Supporting the Delhi High Court judgment, MLAF member Rabina Subbha differed with the views of religious institutions stating science have proved homosexuality is part of the animal kingdom. “The gay also has the right to live as others and in some people homosexuality is in their gene and, therefore, is part of the nature,” she told journalists here while taking a strong view of the HPSO threat. Subbha who is also a member of National AIDS Control Programme in collaboration with Manbha Foundation in a survey of “Men have sex with men” found that in Shillong alone 500 gays in age group between 15 to 45 years were present. “This community (gay) is being discriminated in terms of eve-teasing, mocking, bullying apart from being isolated from the mainstream due to social stigma,” she said. The NACO member added: “There are many more individuals who are not coming out in the open and that may pose serious health risk in terms of possible spread of HIV/Aids.” Taking a diametrically opposite stand, the North East India Christian Council (NEICC), an influential body of Protestant churches in North East, has decided not to accept the interpretation of the Delhi High Court on Section 377 of IPC which is against the Christian tenets. “We demand the UPA government to either file a review petition in Delhi High Court or appeal in the Supreme Court against the ruling of the two-judge bench,’’ NEICC spokesman Pastor N Sandiwell Phawa said. This apart, the Catholic Church, which has consistently opposed homosexual behaviour, said, ‘’The Church is very clear that gay relations are against the order of nature and divine will. ‘’We disagree with the government. We consider gay sex as an immoral act and against the order of nature. There is a need to review the section,’’ a spokesman of the Catholic Church said.

 
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