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Navya Shastra Lauds Delhi High Court on Repeal of Article 377

Troy, Michigan--July 4, 2009--Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization, has lauded the Delhi High Court for its recent decision to repeal portions of Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality. For over a century, the law has given license to the state to persecute individuals based on their sexual orientation. Navya Shastra urges the Government of India not to challenge the ruling or to be swayed by religious chauvinists of any persuasion who would deny equality to all citizens based on ancient interpretations of religious texts. "Navya Shastra is particularly pleased to note that the High Court judges acknowledged the inherent diversity of Indian society and its genius to accommodate many different lifestyles in its social framework," said Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Chairman.

The organization was particularly critical of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which came out against Article 377. "Unable to find any strong theological basis in Hinduism for opposing homosexuality, the VHP relied on the old canard that the family structure would somehow be threatened by the decision," said Sugrutha Ramaswamy, a Navya Shastra activist. "This is an unscientific understanding of homosexuality, which is not a lifestyle choice but rather an inherent human condition," she added.