Saturday, December 9, 2023

Supreme Court Set to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage, Equality Rights for LGBTQIA+ Community Today

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The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver its judgment on various petitions concerning marriage equality rights for the LGBTQIA+ community at 10:30 am today. A five-judge Constitution bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, is currently dealing with a batch of petitions related to marriage equality for the LGBTQIA+ community.

The order has been reserved since May 11, following the conclusion of arguments from all sides. The Constitution bench initiated the hearing on the matter on April 18, and the hearing has continued for almost 10 days. The Supreme Court is handling various petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage. One of the earlier petitions highlighted the absence of a legal framework allowing members of the LGBTQIA+ community to marry any person of their choice.

The Supreme Court has clarified that it will handle the issue under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act and will not interfere with personal laws on this matter. According to one of the petitions, a couple sought to enforce the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to marry any person of their choice, emphasizing that “the exercise of which ought to be insulated from the disdain of legislative and popular majorities.”

The petitioners further asserted their fundamental right to marry each other and prayed for appropriate directions from the Court to enable them to do so. Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Saurabh Kirpal represented the petition.

The Center has opposed the plea, emphasizing that Parliament, not the court, should consider the issue. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has informed the Supreme Court that the entire legal architecture prioritizes the welfare of the child, and adoption cannot replace biological birth in heterosexual families.

On April 18, the Center issued a letter to states, requesting their opinions on matters related to same-sex marriage. The states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan have all opposed the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in the country.

Also Read: ‘Hope judgement is in our favour’: Kolkata Gay Couple Ahead of Same-Sex Marriage Verdict
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