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The Centre opposes legalisation of same sex marriages, as conveyed to Delhi HC

Ranjith Rajeshwar

21st September 2020

Despite social marriage, same-sex couples still await legal recognition. (Source: The Quint)

The Centre’s representative Solicitor General (SG), Tushar Mehta has told the High Court of Delhi, that marriage between same-sex couples was "not permissible" as it is not accepted by "our laws, our legal framework, our culture, and our beliefs".

The submission was made during a hearing before a bench consisting of Delhi High Court Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan. The court heard a PIL filed by LGBTQ+ activists Abhijit Iyer Mitra (a defense and foreign policy analyst), Gopi Shankar M (a Tamil Nadu-based intersex activist who contested the 2016 Assembly elections), and Giti Thadani (a founding member of the Sakhi Collective Journal of Current and Historical Lesbian Life), 

“The Supreme Court had decriminalised homosexuality, but it did not allow for anything else”, the SG told the court, referring to the judgement of September 6, 2018, of the five-member Constitutional Court led by Indian Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, which abrogated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Mehta also pointed out that it does not concur with India’s constitutional values.

According to The Wire, Justice Jalan said that reforms have taken place all over the world and that when two men marry in a foreign country, neither is assumed to be a woman. Jalan also said that it was appropriate to investigate all facets of the plea. The court further asked the lawyer appearing for the petitioner Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, to provide details of the individuals who were not able to register their same-sex marriage.

The petition claimed that after the Supreme Court's decriminalisation of consensual homosexual activities, relationships between same-sex partners are still not possible.

The counsel also claimed that the affected citizens did not come forward as they fear retaliation, and hence the PIL was chosen, as reported by First Post. With a view to placing these factual issues before the court, the bench referred the case for further hearing on October 21.

Sources: The Wire, First post

Edited by Mridula Kumar

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