Supreme Court Set to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

LI Network

Published on: October 17, 2023 at 12:27 IST

In a historic decision eagerly awaited by citizens and activists alike, the Supreme Court of India is poised to deliver its verdict on the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in the country.

This landmark case, titled “Supriyo and anr v. Union of India,” has seen passionate arguments from both sides, and the judgment could significantly impact the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

The Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and including Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, had reserved the verdict after a ten-day hearing on May 11, 2023. The verdict is set to be delivered today, and it addresses the core question of whether same-sex marriages should be legally recognized in India.

A series of petitions before the Supreme Court have ardently advocated for the recognition of same-sex marriages under Indian law. The petitioners argue that the right to marry a person of one’s choice should be extended to LGBTQIA+ citizens, asserting that marriage is a fundamental human right that should not be denied based on sexual orientation.

However, the Central government has opposed these petitions, contending that living together as partners and same-sex relationships cannot be equated with the traditional Indian family unit, which typically consists of a biological man, a biological woman, and their children.

Religious bodies, such as the Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind, have also voiced their reservations, stating that the concept of same-sex marriage is rooted in Western culture and should not be imposed on India. They argue that it clashes with traditional values and beliefs.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has opposed granting adoption rights to same-sex couples, citing potential social and psychological impacts on children. In contrast, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has supported the petitioners, advocating for adoption and succession rights for same-sex couples.

The legal community has not been without its divisions on this matter. The Bar Council of India (BCI) held a meeting with all State Bar Councils and passed a resolution, suggesting that the issue of same-sex marriage recognition be left to the legislature to decide. This position was met with criticism from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), which argued that the apex court has a duty to hear the petition and determine whether it should be adjudicated by the Court or left to the wisdom of the parliament.

The impending judgment is being closely watched, as it will have far-reaching consequences for LGBTQIA+ individuals and the broader society. It is a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for equal rights and non-discrimination in India, and its outcome will shape the legal landscape for same-sex couples.

Related Post