Same-sex marriage case | Supreme Court to pronounce judgment on October 17

The judgment is eagerly awaited as the government had stiffly objected to the idea of a judicial declaration giving legal status to same-sex relationships

Updated - October 17, 2023 10:02 am IST

Published - October 16, 2023 07:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The government had recently proposed a committee led by the Union Cabinet Secretary to examine whether any “administrative measures” could be taken to ease the daily concerns of same-sex couples. File.

The government had recently proposed a committee led by the Union Cabinet Secretary to examine whether any “administrative measures” could be taken to ease the daily concerns of same-sex couples. File. | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui

A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud is scheduled on October 17 to pronounce its judgment in a series of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The case was reserved on May 11 for judgment.

Same-sex marriage verdict LIVE updates

The other four judges on the Bench are Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha. Justice Bhat is scheduled to retire on October 20.

Also Read | Same-sex marriage: Morality vs equality

The judgment is eagerly awaited as the government had stiffly objected to the idea of a judicial declaration giving legal status to same-sex relationships, saying that would result in confusion and encroach into the legislative domain. In fact, the Centre had argued that the court ought to leave the issue to the Parliament and not even recognise a status “less than marriage” for same-sex couples.

The Centre had said that a mere judicial declaration recognising same-sex marriages would not be enough. The fall-out of such a declaration would be too numerous, varied and complex for the court. It had argued that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage by making Special Marriage Act gender-neutral should ideally be debated in the Parliament, and not the court.

Also Read | Same-sex marriage hearing | The case so far

The government had recently proposed a committee led by the Union Cabinet Secretary to examine whether any “administrative measures” could be taken to ease the daily concerns of same-sex couples in areas like banking, insurance, etc.

The Bench had termed the government’s stand as a “step forward” and even a “big, big positive” towards achieving wider social acceptance of the right of same-sex couples to cohabit together.

Chief Justice Chandrachud had said the court could examine the need for a judicial declaration that same-sex couples had a “right to cohabit together in a normal, peaceable environment in our country without facing any form of discrimination, societal or otherwise”.

Also Read | Data Point: Situating the debate on same-sex marriage

The petitioners had termed the government’s attempt a “tyranny of majoritarianism” and urged the court to not give in. They said they had every right to enjoy the fruits of marriage and the security of a family.

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