Terming the idea of same sex marriages as contrary to the idea of family in Indian culture, the Centre on Thursday opposed the petitions seeking recognition of same-sex marriages. It said the idea of same-sex marriages is not in sync with Indian ethos and culture.
“Law only recognizes marriage between man & woman,”Centre said in response to petition filed in Delhi High court by four people belonging to the LGBTQ community. The petitioners had urged the Delhi High Court to declare the marriages between any two persons irrespective of their sex be solemnised under the Special Marriage Act (SMA).
“Living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same sex individual is not comparable with Indian family unit concept of a husband, wife and children which presupposes a biological man as ‘husband’, a biological woman as ‘wife’ and children born out of union,” the Centre said.
The government stated this in a counter affidavit filed on petitions filed by same-sex couples seeking enforcement of fundamental right of choice of partner. “Despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage,” the government further said.
In their plea, filed through advocates Meghna Mishra and Tahira from Karanjawala and Co law firm, the petitioners had also sought that the provisions in the SMA which require a ‘male’ and a ‘female’ for solemnisation of a marriage be declared as unconstitutional unless they are read as “neutral to gender identity and sexual orientation”.
During the hearing, the central government assured the bench that it would file a reply to the earlier petitions during the course of the day and the court listed all the four petitions, including the latest one, on April 20.
The latest petition has said that three of the petitioners have gone abroad as Indian laws do not recognize same sex couples or marriages and such relationships do not enjoy the same benefits as those enjoyed by heterosexual couples. The fourth petitioner is also contemplating going abroad to be with his partner as laws here do not recognize same sex relationships, the petition has said.
The Centre had earlier told the high court that marriage between same sex couples was “not permissible” as it was not recognised by “our laws, legal system, society and our values”.