Mixed reactions to Delhi HC ruling to decriminalise homosexuality

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New Delhi July 2 (ANI): The landmark judgement of the Delhi High Court to decriminalise homosexuality has received mixed responses.

Even as gay activists termed the ruling as progressive, religious leaders condemned it saying that the judgement would harm Indian culture, Political parties reacted cautiously to the judgement.

Earlier in the day a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court comprising of Chief Justice A P Shah and Mr.Justice S. Muralidhar, gave a verdict to decriminalise homosexuality.

NGOs welcomed the judgement calling it as "progressive."

Anjali Gopalan founder of the NAZ Foundation, which filed the petition before the Delhi High Court said, "This is very progressive judgement which recognises the right to equality."

"Now, it seems, we are in 21st century as the rights of homosexuals have been recognised by the high court," Anjali said.

Anjali also said gay rights activists had never sought the total scrapping of the penal provisions of Section 377 and fought against exclusion of a section of society because of their sexual preferences.

Expressing her happiness over the verdict advocate Mehak Sethi, who fought the case for NAZ Foundation said the verdict excluded unnatural sex from penal provision of Section 377, but it retained the penal provisions with respect to child abuse.

Reacting to the judgement, Congress spokesperson Ahmed Patel said its is between the court and the government and party has nothing do with it.

Strongly disapproving the judgement, Imam Ahmed Bukhari of the Jama Masjid said, "This is absolutely wrong to legalise homosexuality. We will not accept any such law," and also said that he will oppose any attempt of the government to amend Section 377 of IPC.

Reacting in same line, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli, member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said "Homosexuality is against all religions and also against Indian culture. It should not be legalised. This unnatural behaviour should continue as a criminal act."

"The churches have no objection to decriminalisation of homosexuality because we do not consider these people as criminals on par with other criminals but there should not be any attempt to legalise it," said Father Immanuel said.

He also said the churches do not approve of homosexual relations as ethical and moral right of the people. (ANI)

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