Centre denies the legalisation of Same-Sex Marriage

The Centre has denied to make any changes to the existing laws on marriage of same sex marriages.

The High Court of Delhi on Thursday, heard three separate petitions by same-sex couples who sought to declare that the Special Marriage Act (SMA) and Foreign Marriage Act (FMA) ought to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

While the bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal were hearing these petitions, a fourth petition, was filed which claimed that denial of same sex marriage was a denial of rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

In an affidavit, in response to these petitions, the Centre stated that, despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage being recognised under the laws of the country.

The Centre also stated that living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same sex individuals, is not comparable with the Indian concept of a family, which consists of a husband, a wife and children who are biologically born children out of the marriage.

It was also submitted that the registration of marriage of same sex persons results in violation of existing personal and codified law provisions such: as degrees of prohibited relationship, conditions of marriage, ceremonial and ritual requirements under the personal laws governing the individuals.

It was further stated that any interpretation except treating ‘husband’ as a biological man and ‘wife’ as a biological woman will make all the statutory provisions unworkable.

The Centre added that in a same sex marriage, it is neither possible nor feasible to term one as ‘husband’ and the other as ‘wife’ in the context of legislative scheme of various statutes.

The Centre also stated that the question regarding formalisation of such a relationship is to be decided by the legislature without judicial adjudication.

The High Court has listed the hearing on April 20th.

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