Giving legal validation to same-sex marriages may trigger demands to legalise disorders such as paedophilia and bestiality, the Syro-Malabar Church of Kerala said on Thursday, PTI reported.

In a statement, the influential Catholic church said that same-sex marriages are unnatural and do an injustice to the family system in India. “Same-sex marriage is a negation of the natural order of relationships between a man and a woman,” the church said.

The church said it has submitted its views on the matter to the President of India. This was after the Supreme Court, which is hearing a batch of petitions seeking to legalise same-sex marriage, had asked the Centre to seek opinions on the matter from the civil society, according to PTI.

In its statement, the church said it appreciated the Centre for opposing same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court.

The Narendra Modi government has argued in the court that same-sex marriages are not compatible with the Indian idea of family and that the demands for their legal recognition represent “urban elitist views for the purpose of social acceptance”. The government has also contended that making laws on marriage was the prerogative of the legislature and the judiciary should not intervene in the matter. On Wednesday, the Centre proposed to form a committee to address concerns of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Syro-Malabar Church’s claims regarding same-sex marriages come days after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that they could result in incest.

At a hearing on the petitions on April 27, Mehta, appearing for the Centre made a proposition: “I’m attracted to my sister. We are consenting adults entering into activities within the privacy. And we claim our right of autonomy, right of choice...Based on that, can someone not challenge why this restriction?

In response, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had said that this was a far-fetched scenario.

Meanwhile, the church said, it had sympathy for sexual minorities, but marital relationships should only exist between men and women, PTI reported.

The right to choose a partner does not necessarily imply the right to marry such a person over and above the procedure established by law, the church added.

On its website, the Syro-Malabar Church claims to be the second-largest Eastern Catholic Church, having 50 lakh believers.