In a filing to the Supreme Court, the Centre opposed same-sex marriage and stuck to its earlier stance that it’s not compatible with the concept of an “Indian family unit”.
The Centre said the Indian family unit consists of a biological male, a biological female, and their children. It submitted that despite the decriminalisation of Section 377, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised by law.
In the affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the Centre said same-sex couples living together as partners is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept. The centre urged the court to reject the challenges to the current legal framework lodged by petitioners.
The Supreme Court will hear the final arguments regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage on April 18. The apex court described it “as a seminal importance”. The final arguments will be heard by a five-person bench and will be live-streamed on the Supreme Court website and YouTube.
Suggested Reading: What it Means: Supreme Court Transfers Same-Sex Marriage Petitions To Itself
Centre Opposes Same-Sex Marriage
The Centre argued that registration of same-sex marriage would result in violation of existing personal and codified law provisions.
On January 6, the apex court clubbed and transferred all petitions regarding same-sex marriage to itself before different courts.
At least four gay couples had asked the court to recognise same-sex marriages.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala had requested that the Centre submit a joint response to all petitions related to same-sex marriage.
Chief Justice Chandrachud was on the bench in 2018 that decriminalised homosexuality.
The apex court also asked the petitioners’ and the Centre’s legal representatives to submit a written note on the matter.
The petitions filed seek recognition of same-sex marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, and the Foreign Marriage Act.
A petition was filed in 2020 in the Delhi High Court by Abhijit Iyer-Mitra. He argued that the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) doesn’t distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual marriages in the wording. In his petition, he argued that the HMA required “any two Hindus” for marriage.
Other petitions sought recognition of same-sex marriages under the Special Marriage Act (SMA). The law says, “a marriage between any two persons may be solemnised under this Act”.