Q: You are aware of the Supreme Court judgment decriminalizing homosexuality. Do you think that human sexuality is a socio-cultural, biological construct? Do you think that homosexuality and hetero- sexuality can be altered by social or cultural backgrounds?
A: My reaction to the Supreme Court verdict as I understand it is that homosexual relationship in private is decriminalized. I would welcome it. We should respect human beings, irrespective of sexual orientations. The Supreme Court judgment on homosexuality happily would prevent the police and the courts henceforth from charging and punishing homosexuals.
Law can change but morality does not change. Morality is written into human nature. Morality is not a social consensus and social contract. Society changes; objective morality does not.
Homosexuals have suffered immensely in society and in body-politic. Society has been indifferent, merciless and cruel towards them. Laws also have been abused. So as regards this aspect of the treatment meted out to the homosexuals, the Supreme Court judgment is compassionate and therefore to be appreciated.
We must be kind, under- standing and brotherly towards these people and fellow citizens of ours. We have inherited a lot of prejudices towards them and these have to be removed. And we in the Church should be a shining light in this matter.
However, we have always to affirm that sexual relations should be heterosexual and always between lawfully married husband and wife.
Man and woman are created for child bearing and conjugal relationship of love. Sexual identity is not a sociological and cultural construct. It is natural and biological. However, it is also socially and culturally influenced.
I cannot accept homo- sexual marriage, because marriage as we understand across cultures is between man and woman. For centuries societies all over the world have recognized the institution of marriage as union of husband and wife.
Bp Thomas Dabre
Bishop of Poona