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Centre Opposes Plea To Recognise Same Sex Marriage, Says Only Husband And Wife Make A Family. This Is Unfair!

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At the cost of sounding anti-national, I would say that where there once was a time when India would be regarded as the biggest democracy, it can now only be called the biggest hypocrisy. On one end of the spectrum there are progressive reforms being introduced, gender gap being addressed and landmark rulings being made. But on the other, at a very dark end of the spectrum we see courts spilling water on all the progress ever made with their regressive judgements. The recent one being where the Centre, in its affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court, has opposed pleas to recognise same-sex marriages under Special Marriages Act.

After years of criminalising same sex relationships, that were put into place during the British Raj, in 2018 we saw a landmark decision of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, in which the Supreme Court of India decriminalised consensual homosexual intercourse under Section 377.

However, in the latest rather disappointing turn of events, the center has said that there is a “larger legislative framework” that recognises marriage only as between a man and a woman. It said, “Personal laws recognise only heteronormative marriages. Interference in this would cause havoc.”

Also Read : The Lawyers Behind Abolishing Article 377 Have Been A Couple For A While But They Waited Because Of This Reason

This comes as a response after four more people belonging to the gay and lesbian community urged the Delhi High Court on Thursday to declare that same sex marriage be solemnised under the Special Marriage Act (SMA).

The center observed that the decriminalisation of Section 377  “applies to aspects which would be covered within the personal private domain of individuals [akin to the right to privacy] and cannot include the public right in the nature of recognition of same-sex marriage and thereby legitimizing a particular human conduct”.

The Centre further stated, “By and large the institution of marriage has a sanctity attached to it and in major parts of the country, it is regarded as a sacrament. In our country, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values.”

In its affidavit, the Center submitted, “Institutions of marriage and the family are important social institutions in India that provide for the security, support and companionship of members of our society and bear an important role in the rearing of children and their mental and psychological upbringing also. It is submitted that the celebration of a marriage gives rise to not just legal but moral and social obligations, particularly the reciprocal duty of support placed upon spouses and their joint responsibility for supporting and raising children born of the marriage and to ensure their proper mental and psychological growth in the most natural way possible.”

It ultimately opposed the pleas to recognise same sex marriage by by stating that, “The parties entering into marriage creates an institution having its own public significance as it is a social institution from which several rights and liabilities flow. Seeking declaration for solemnisation/registration of marriage has more ramifications than simple legal recognition. Family issues are far beyond mere recognition and registration of marriage between persons belonging to the same gender.”

The judgement that will be seen having its repercussions on the LGBTQ+ community, and leaves glim hope in the future for overturn. The center’s response has been received as a major setback.

Also Read : Menaka Guruswamy And Arundhati Katju, The Lawyers Who Fought To Decriminalise Article 377, Now To Fight For Same Sex Marriage

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