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Religious leaders criticise ruling on gay sex

Delhi High Court legalises gay sex

Religious disquiet on gay law

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the Delhi High Court judgement legalising gay sex among the consenting adults.


The apex court posted the matter for hearing on July 20. The Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that any interim order against the High Court verdict, if necessary, will be considered only after hearing the parties concerned.


Notices were also issued to Naz Foundation, the NGO and other respondents who were parties before the High Court. The court was hearing the appeal filed by Suresh Kumar Kaushal, an astrologer, against the July 2 verdict of the High Court.


While mentioning the petition, the counsel, appearing for the astrologer, said that since the High Court verdict, there have been seven cases of gay marriages, and raised several questions, which, he claimed, were likely to affect the institution of marriage.


However, the Bench said, "We have not changed the definition of marriage." During the brief hearing, when the counsel was pointing to what he claimed was the adverse impact of the judgement decriminalising gay sex among the consenting adults, the Bench said the police had not been registering cases in such matters. It said though the law has been in force since 1860, there have been only a handful cases under the penal provision except those of paedophile cases. For "gay sex, to my knowledge, no body has been prosecuted," the Bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivam, said.


The petition filed by Kaushal sought quashing of July 2 verdict of the High Court legalising gay sex between consenting adults in private, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with upto life imprisonment. The petition contended that homosexual acts, by all standards, were "unnatural" and could not be permitted. "No one can imagine the consequences of the unnatural acts. Even animals don't indulge in such activities," he said in his petition.


He said the High Court judgement would result in spread of HIV virus as "it has been amply proven" that the infection was contracted through such sexual acts. "We have to look at our own scriptures to seek guidance from them and they are against such behaviour in our society. If such abnormality is permitted, then tomorrow people might seek permission for having sex with animals," he argued.





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