Supriya Sule introduces a Private Member’s Bill to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

LGBTQ Gay Couple Law Insider

Khushi Doshi

Published on: April 1, 2022 at 14:01 IST

Supriya Sule, the NCP’s leader, initiated a Private member’s Bill on Friday that aims to grant the LGBT community equal marriage rights.

The Bill proposes that an insertion be made after Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, stating, ‘Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law currently in force, a marriage between any two persons of the same sex may be solemnised under this Act.’

The only condition imposed by the Bill is that male partners be at least 20 years old, and female partners be at least 18 years old.

The Bill also seeks to replace all references to ‘husband and wife’ in the Special Marriage Act with the word “spouse.”

“In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which was archaic and draconian. Homosexuality was effectively decriminalised as a result of this landmark decision, Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India. While this was a much-needed, progressive step forward, LGBTQIA+ people continue to face discrimination and social stigma in society,” Sule said in a series of tweets following the introduction of the Bill.

According to the Bill’s Objects and Reasons statement, ‘while the determination of one’s sexual orientation has been realised, LGBTQIA individuals are still unable to marry and create their own families.’

Furthermore, LGBTQIA couples do not have access to rights that heterosexual couples have upon marriage, such as succession, maintenance, and pensions, among other things.

As a result, amending the Special Marriage Act of 1954 to legalise same-sex marriage and provide Iegal recognition to married LGBTQIA couples is critical.

Also read: LGBTQ Rights in India and Acknowledgment

What is the process of passing a Bill in Parliament and State Legislature under Article 196 of the Indian Constitution?

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