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Supreme Court's strong take on same-sex marriage

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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The Same-Sex marriage debate, a topic of long-standing contention, has continued to divide opinions. While traditionalists vehemently oppose it, advocates for its legalization have become increasingly vocal. In response to this ongoing discourse, a five-judge constitution bench, presided over by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, undertook a marathon 10-day hearing and reserved its verdict on May 11.

With emotions running high, the nation awaited the much-anticipated judgment of the Supreme Court, scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday, regarding the validation of same-sex marriages. The verdict is now in, and the Supreme Court, by a narrow 3-2 majority, has decided against legalizing same-sex marriages, delivering four separate judgments and offering a range of observations.

Throughout the extensive hearings, senior advocates, including Mukul Rohatgi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Raju Ramachandran, Anand Grover, Geeta Luthra, KV Viswanathan, Saurabh Kirpal, and Menaka Guruswamy, passionately argued for the equality rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. They emphasized the importance of recognizing such unions to ensure that LGBTQIA individuals can lead dignified lives similar to their heterosexual counterparts.

In contrast, the Center opposed the pleas, asserting that Indian legislative policy intentionally recognizes unions only between biological men and women. The Center proposed the formation of a committee, led by the cabinet secretary, to address the genuine concerns of same-sex couples through administrative measures, sidestepping the issue of legalizing their marriages.

Following the Supreme Court-s verdict, people have reacted to the judgment, interpreting it according to their perspectives. Bappaditya Mukherjee, Founder and Director of -Prantakatha,- an NGO, lauded the decision as historic, highlighting that transgenders within heterosexual relationships now have the right to marry, adopt, and enjoy the full spectrum of LGBTQIA rights.

However, Samata Biswas, a professor of gender studies at Sanskrit College and University, expressed disappointment, seeing the Supreme Court-s denial of marriage equality as a setback for the queer movement in India. The Constitution bench, composed of five judges, declined to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages, asserting that it is the responsibility of Parliament to amend the Special Marriage Act.

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