Sunday, April 2, 2023

Centre opposes same sex marriage at Supreme Court

Ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on the legalisation of same sex marriages, the move had received vehement opposition from the Centre. The government said that such a move would not be ‘comparable with the Indian family unit’. Centre opined that same-sex relationships and heterosexual relationships are clearly distinct classes which cannot be treated identically.
In its affidavit, filed before the court, scheduled to hear the matter on Monday, Centre said living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same sex individuals (which is decriminalised now) is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept, urging the court to reject challenges to the current legal framework lodged by LGBTQ+ couples.
“Amongst Hindus, it is a sacrament, a holy union for performance of reciprocal duties between a man and a woman. In Muslims, it is a contract but again is envisaged only between a biological man and a biological woman. It will, therefore, not be permissible to pray for a writ of this court to change the entire legislative policy of the country deeply embedded in religious and societal norms,” Centre said. The affidavit came as a counter to demands raised by several petitioners seeking legal recognition of same sex marriages. The government asserted that the petition was “wholly unsustainable, untenable and misplaced”.
“It must be kept in mind that granting recognition and conferring rights recognising human relations which has its consequences in law, and privileges, is in essence a legislative function and can never be the subject matter of judicial adjudication,” it said.
Centre said that marriage was recognised “statutorily, religiously and socially” as a union between a man and a woman. It added that the heterogeneous institution of marriage was also accepted by the Indian society based upon its own cultural and societal values which are recognized by the competent legislature.
“There is an intelligible differentia (normative basis) which distinguishes those within the classification (heterosexual couples) from those left out (same-sex couples). This classification has a rational relation with the object sought to be achieved (ensuring social stability via recognition of marriages),” it said. Centre said that despite the decriminalization of Sec 377 of the IPC, the petitioners “cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country”.


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