HC transfers pleas seeking recognition of same-sex marriages to Supreme Court

Updated - January 31, 2023 01:08 am IST

Published - January 31, 2023 01:07 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Monday sent a batch of petitions seeking recognition of same-sex marriages under various laws to the Supreme Court.

On January 6, the top court transferred to itself petitions pending in various High Courts seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

The High Court was seized of eight separate petitions by same-sex couples seeking a declaration recognising their marriages under the Special Marriage Act, the Hindu Marriage Act, and the Foreign Marriage Act.

A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad made the decision after it was informed by the counsel appearing in the matter that the SC has transferred to itself all petitions pending in various High Courts involving the same-sex marriage issue.

Earlier, the Centre had opposed any changes to the existing laws on marriage to recognise same-sex marriage saying such interference would cause “a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country”.

“Living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same-sex individuals is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children which necessarily presupposes a biological man as a ‘husband’, a biological woman as a ‘wife’ and the children born out of the union between the two,” the Centre had argued.

On November 25, the Supreme Court sought the government’s response to pleas to allow solemnisation of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act. The Special Marriage Act of 1954 provides a civil form of marriage for couples who cannot marry under personal law.

Earlier in 2018, the SC had decriminalised homosexuality, urging the LGBTQ+ community to forgive history for their “brutal” suppression.

The petitioners before the HC contended that marriages between same-sex couples are not possible despite the apex court decriminalising consensual homosexual acts.

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