2014-01-10 13:09:00

Russian Orthodox Church supports debate on anti-sodomy law

Moscow, January 10, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate thinks there is a need for serious discussion of ways to exclude homosexuality from public life.

"I leave the allegations of my support to Okhlobystin's referendum initiative on the conscience of writers of Internet headlines. But it is not so bad that the theme of criminal penalty for homosexual relationships is being discussed," head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax-Religion on Friday, referring to the idea of actor and priest Ivan Okhlobystin to restore criminal punishment of homosexuality or to initiate a related referendum.

Every society has the right to decide which sins to restrict with morals and which with the law, the archpriest said, adding that various decisions had been made by different people at various stages of their history and in the contemporary life.

The West, which the archpriest deems to be "a rather marginal community", has taken the path of decriminalization and many other peoples "tend to prefer other directions." For instance, the Indian Supreme Court has recently declined to uphold the lift of the ban on homosexuality. The Supreme Court of Australia pronounced the law which legalized same-sex "marriages" invalid.

Hence, many people are steadily returning to "normal logic", which clearly shows that same-sex relationships and especially their propaganda and their attempts to legitimize same-sex "marriages" destroy families and, in the long run, destroy the nation," Fr. Vsevolod said.

"It is a subject of most serious debate how to resist this sin, minimize it or, even better, to fully expel it from public life. Shall we use only moral norms or shall we also apply legal norms which stipulate punishment? One should not try to stop or limit this discussion. Every person participating in it and society as a whole should have a possibility to make a free choice based on the majority's will," he said.