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India's top court rules homosexuality illegal; top Catholic prelate demurs

December 11, 2013

India’s supreme court has ruled that homosexual activity is a “crime against nature.”

The court’s ruling—overturning a 2009 decision that had decriminalized homosexual acts—provoked an immediate angry response from gay-rights groups, which charged that religious organizations were responsible for the change.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, the president of the Indian bishops’ conference, denied that the Catholic Church had sought the high court’s ruling. The cardinal said that while the Catholic Church was opposed to same-sex marriage, “the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalization of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals."


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  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Dec. 11, 2013 10:24 PM ET USA

    Another confused and confusing statement from a Catholic prelate. The issue is not whether "gay people are criminals" but whether or not the State should punish homosexual acts. Is the Church serious about its teaching that these acts are sinful expressions of a "fundamentally disordered" desire? If so, having the State help to prevent them, and thus their terrible consequences for the health and salvation of their devotees, seems like a plus to me.

  • Posted by: gbrisebois1656 - Dec. 11, 2013 6:22 PM ET USA

    Please work to end the equivocating. There is a difference between homosexuality and homosexual acts. The activity is a crime. The temptation is not a crime.