Gay law

The head of the country’s episcopal conference has condemned legal moves to criminalise homosexuals.

Following a Supreme Court ruling last week which overturned a 2009 High Court decision decriminalising of homosexuality under British colonial legislation, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai decried the move as “unjust discrimination”.

“As Christians,” Cardinal Gracias said, “we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalisation of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse.”

The move to reintroduce a 10-year penalty for homosexual activity – life for cases deemed particularly serious – was first sparked by a member of the radical Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party, which argued that homosexuality is against Indian culture.