Mumbai: Religious leaders decry same-sex unison

Mumbai: Religious leaders decry same-sex unison

Members of the Muslim community said that the religion forbids sex outside wedlock. Same-sex marriage, they said, was considered a crime and punishable.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Thursday, March 16, 2023, 01:07 AM IST
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Mumbai: Religious leaders decry same-sex unison | Image for representational purpose.

Mumbai: Same-sex marriages are undesirable and not encouraged, said representatives of most religious faiths, even as the Supreme Court transferred the matter to a Constitution bench. The human race would cease to exist over a period of time if same sex were to become the norm, they said.

“The church has never accepted same-sex marriage and that stand has not changed. Same-sex marriages go against the teachings of our faith. There is something called natural law and it goes against that. There are a lot of things that we take a moral stand for. This is a moral stand we have taken. You can choose to agree with it or disagree with it,” said Fr. Nigel Barrett, spokesperson of Archdiocese of Mumbai.

For some of the representatives, this was categorical while for others it came across as implied.

“Religions are millennia old. Our (Zoroastrian) ancient religious text does not speak of same-sex marriages. There was no same sex that time. However, it talks about a marriage ceremony between a boy and a girl. It is a contract between them. Whatever the judgement comes by the Supreme Court should be as per law of land. If he or she has to marry, they will as per law which will be established or not be established by the Supreme Court. However, if people of the same sex come to a Fire Temple, their ceremonies will not take place,” said Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, high priest of Iranshah Atash Behram, Udvada.

“It is not elaborated but primarily sex is meant for procreation,: said Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia, a scholar of Zoroastrian faith.

Members of the Muslim community said that the religion forbids sex outside wedlock. Same-sex marriage, they said, was considered a crime and punishable. “Islam has said that same-sex marriage is illegal and a crime. Islam says it is not desirable as it is against human nature. It is not good for your health,” said Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, general secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).

“Islam does not permit sex outside of wedlock. If same sex allowed, human race will be over," said SQR Ilyas, executive committee member, AIMPLB.

However, Harish Iyer, one of the petitioners seeking the right for same-sex marriage, said that these points had been discussed during the debate on Section 377. “It seems the world has moved on but they are still stuck in time. Marriage equality is a doorway to other rights, including the right to adopt, right to property during succession, right to take a loan together. The real purpose of religion is to spread love and harmony. Why should any god have anything against two people who love and desire equal rights?” Iyer asked.

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