“Same-Sex unions can undermine societal norms:”

"Same-sex unions can undermine societal norms:"

According to the Centre’s affidavit in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to consider petitions on same-sex marriage, any modification in human relationships should originate from the legislature rather than the court.

While citing the “established opinion” that a marriage between a biological man and woman is a “holy union, a sacrament, and a sanskar” in India, the Centre opposed same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court.

The institution of marriage has a sacred quality to it and is revered as a holy union, a sacrament, and a sanskar in much of the nation. The Centre stated in a 56-page affidavit submitted on March 12 that “marriage inherently rests upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos, and societal values” despite statutory acknowledgement of the connection of marriage between a biological woman and a biological man.

According to the government, the legislature, not the Supreme Court, is the only place where this “statutorily, religiously, and socially” established standard in “human relationships” can be “deviated” from.

The government claimed that in its 2018 ruling in Navtej Singh Johar, the Court had not legalized this “behaviour,” but rather just decriminalized sexual activity between people of the same sex. 

The court had never recognized same-sex marriage as a component of the fundamental right to life and dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution, despite decriminalizing homosexuality.

According to the administration, same-sex marriage cannot be approximated to a couple raising children together as a family.

The government argued that “living together as partners and having sexual encounters by same-sex individuals [which is now decriminalized] are not similar with the Indian family unit idea of a husband, a wife, and children.

Marriages between people of the same sex that are registered would also be in breach of existing provisions of both personal and codified law.

Same-Sex Marriage laws in India

The marriage laws in the nation, which are governed by personal laws and codified laws relating to the customs of various religious communities, have been designed and framed by the Parliament to recognize only the union of a woman and a man as being capable of legal sanction and, therefore, claiming legal and statutory rights and consequences. 

The delicate balance of privacy laws in the nation and widely held societal ideals would be completely upset by any tampering with the same, the authorities said.

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Image Source: Live Law

Laws recognizing heterosexual marriage have historically been the norm and are “foundational to both the existence and persistence of the state,” according to the statement.

According to the government, it is in the “compelling interest” of both community and the state to exclusively recognize heterosexual unions.

The affidavit was filed in response to the Court’s decision to review applications seeking to have same-sex marriages solemnized in accordance with the Special Union Act.

Couples who are unable to wed under their law have a legal form of marriage available to them according to the Special Marriage Act of 1954.

Numerous petitions have been submitted, including those from partners Supriyo Abhay Dang and Supriya Chakraborty. They said that the denial of same-sex marriage constituted discrimination that undermined the worth and self-actualization of LBTQ+ couples. Uday Raj Anand and Parth Phiroze Mehrotra also submitted a different plea.

The Attorney General of India and The Union of India have received separate notices from the court. It has assigned itself a number of cases that were still pending before several High Courts, including those in Delhi and Kerala.

This case was seen as a continuation of the Navtej Johar case, according to senior attorneys Menaka Guruswamy, Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, and Arundhati Katju.

The 1954 Act should provide same-sex couples with the same safety it did for intercaste and interreligious couples who wish to get married, according to the petitioners.

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