Same-sex marriages will cause havoc, Central govt. tells HC

It opposes plea seeking recognition, says ‘not comparable with Indian family concept’

February 26, 2021 12:34 am | Updated 12:34 am IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 24/01/2018: A view of Delhi High Court, in New Delhi on January 24, 2018.  
Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

NEW DELHI, 24/01/2018: A view of Delhi High Court, in New Delhi on January 24, 2018. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Centre on Thursday opposed any changes to the existing laws on marriage to recognise same-sex marriages, 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 presuppose 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 argued in the Delhi High Court.

It said the 2018 landmark judgment of the Supreme Court decriminalising consensual homosexual sex in India was “neither intended to, nor did it in fact, legitimize the human conduct in question”.

In an affidavit filed in response to petitions seeking to recognise same-sex marriage, the Central government said, “despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage being recognised under the laws of the country”. The Centre submitted that “registration of marriage of same-sex persons also results in violation of existing personal as well as codified law provisions — such as ‘degrees of prohibited relationship’; ‘conditions of marriage’; ‘ceremonial and ritual requirements’ under the personal laws governing the individuals”.

“Any other interpretation except treating ‘husband’ as a biological man and ‘wife’ as a biological woman will make all statutory provisions unworkable,” the government cautioned.

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