Caught In A Time Warp? North-East Churches Strongly Oppose SC’s Decision To Decriminalise Homosexuality

Caught In A Time Warp? North-East Churches Strongly Oppose SC’s Decision To Decriminalise HomosexualityRepresentative image. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Just a month after the landmark verdict made by India’s Apex Court running down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalising homosexuality, a few church bodies in the northeast (NE) have begun silent protests against the decision. The Supreme Court had declared consensual gay sex as not a crime while stating that Section 377 violated the fundamental right to equality..

The churches in the North East have contested the decision saying that "what is legally upheld need not be morally acceptable." The apex church body of Nagaland, The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) will convene a meeting in Kohima, "to come up with a comprehensive document to discourage homosexuality.” It will simultaneously discuss the impact of the Apex Court’s order on the religious practices of the state.

“Forming guidelines to uphold the teachings of the Bible is a moral imperative. Anything that goes against God's design cannot be encouraged,” general secretary of NBCC Reverend Zelhou Keyho said on Monday (22 October), as reported by TOI.

“No one is beyond help,” the body had said at the time. Nine years on, little has changed. The tone, though, is tempered with “compassion”. Keyho added: "We have nothing against the LGBTQIA community. However, we have to reiterate that homosexuality is a sin.”

The verdict has run into a roadblock in Christian majority states like Mizoram and Meghalaya.