Centre Writes To States Seeking Views On Same-Sex Marriage Legalisation

Centre Writes To States Seeking Views On Same-Sex Marriage Legalisation

by Swarajya Staff - Wednesday, April 19, 2023 04:35 PM IST
Centre Writes To States Seeking Views On Same-Sex Marriage LegalisationA CJI-led SC bench is hearing the matter pertaining to validity of same-sex marriage. (Representative image)

States have been asked for their views on legalising same-sex marriage, as the Supreme Court reviews petitions on the issue.

The Centre opposed the Supreme Court's hearing of petitions and requested that the states be involved. Following the court's rejection of its request, the Center expressed that it should be given the opportunity to conduct consultations with the states, gather their opinions, and present them to the court.

During a hearing led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, the centre stated that it had contacted states the previous day to request their views on the matter as they are essential stakeholders.

They contended that same-sex marriage is an issue that falls within the legislative authority of states, and as such, states should be included in the proceedings.

They also emphasised that it is important to have a comprehensive perspective on the question of offering legal approval for same-sex marriage.

The Centre asked for a postponement until the states were consulted, but the court opted to proceed with the hearing.

The Center said that the formation of a new social relationship can only be determined by Parliament, and has requested the court to evaluate whether it has jurisdiction over the matter. It has also stated that the individuals involved in the case do not speak for the entire nation and that the petitions are indicative of "urban elitist perspectives."

The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, stated in response to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta's comments that the court won't be instructed on how to make a decision and is eager to listen to the petitioners.

The bench, comprising five justices, including SK Kaul, Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, will hear arguments until Thursday. CJI Chandrachud made it clear that the arguments must focus only on the Special Marriage Act and not go into personal laws.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the petitioners, has requested the legalisation of same-sex marriage, citing the landmark judgment decriminalising homosexuality. He demanded that the Special Marriage Act recognise 'spouse' instead of gender-specific terms.

"We seek a declaration that we have a right to get married. That right will be recognised by the state as under the Special Marriage Act and the marriage will be recognised by the state after declaration of this court.

"This is because even now we are stigmatised - even if we hold hands and walk. This is even after the Article 377 judgment," said Rohatgi.

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