India is at a critical junction on which way it would take – whether to reject or accept the plea filed by various petitioners for same sex marriage; while the centre and the supreme court appear to be headed towards different directions. The petition had pleaded for making same sex marriage in India legal. It may be recalled, that India had decriminalised homosexuality in 2018. On September 7, 2018, a 5-judge constitutional bench of Supreme Court of India invalidated part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, hence making homosexuality legal in India. India does not recognise registered marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples, though same-sex couples can attain equal rights and benefits as a live-in couple (anagolous to cohabitation) as per a Supreme Court of India judgement in August 2022.In response to a batch of petitions seeking recognition of same sex marriages under the law, the Supreme Court of India had issued notices on these petitions in November last year and in January this year. The apex court had, on January 6,2023 clubbed and transferred to itself all such petitions pending before different high courts, including the Delhi High Court and fixed the hearing on March 13,2023. The Centre in a filing to the Supreme Court on Sunday stuck to its earlier stand that same-sex marriage is not compatible with the concept of an “Indian family unit”, which it said consists of “a husband, a wife, and children which necessarily presuppose a biological man as a ‘husband’, a biological woman as a ‘wife’ and the children born out of the union between the two – who are reared by the biological man as father and the biological woman as mother”. The Centre said that “a plain reading of” various laws on the subject “makes plain that the legislative intent was to recognise marriage as being the union of one man and one woman only”. Urging the court to leave the issue to Parliament, the Centre asserted that any “recognised deviation…can occur only before the competent legislature”. It also said that “despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country”. On March 13 when the matter was heard, the Supreme Court referred the pleas to a 5-bench constitution bench and which will hear the plea on April 18. Article 145(3) mandates that cases involving substantial questions and interpretation of the Constitution should be heard by a Bench of at least five judges. Chief Justice Chandrachud said the case involves an “interplay” between constitutional rights of life, liberty, dignity, equal treatment of members of the LGBTQ+ community members and specific statutory enactments which considers only a married union between a biological man and woman. A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, 30 countries and territories mostly in Europe and Americas have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry. India’s stand on the issue is based on the universal principle that marriage is between opposite sexes of which, procreation being a natural corollary to sustain life on this planet. Today it is about same sex but no one can never predict what tomorrow holds.
Launched on December 3, 1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.