The Ministry of External Affairs recently issued a letter to all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad saying that an applicant for a passport cannot endorse the name of a spouse of the same sex. This is because there is no provision in marriage laws to regulate the marriage of same-sex people in India.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ministry of External Affairs has announced that an applicant for a passport cannot endorse the name of a spouse of the same sex.
  • It also mentioned that there is no provision in the marriage laws to regulate the marriage of same-sex people in India.
  • The Supreme Court had last year decriminalised homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

It is mandatory for the married partners to write the name of their spouse while applying for a passport as per the law. The Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, has issued the letter. It mentioned that the ministry had received a few references from its missions/posts abroad. The references were for extending passport facilities with endorsements of a spouse of the same sex as that of the applicant.

Also: Why have Father’s name on passports? Questioned a single mother, Maneka Gandhi listened

“The matter has been considered in detail in the ministry in consultation with the legal and treaties division and the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice. As there is no provision in the marriage laws to regulate the marriage of same-sex people in India, endorsement of spouse name of same-sex in the passport of an applicant is not advisable,” reads the letter.

The Ministry of External Affairs recently issued a letter to all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad saying that an applicant for a passport cannot endorse the name of a spouse of the same sex.

Despite the decriminalisation of homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, all passport issuing authorities are suggested not to add the name of a spouse of same-sex as that of an applicant in passports.

In 2016, the Ministry of External Affairs had announced that the rules for obtaining passports will be eased for single mothers, orphans, sadhus and adopted children. Post this, it was not mandatory for a single mother to give the name of her partner. The passport needs to only have the name of the legal guardian or one parent. The same rule applies to those who are separated or divorced — they need not furnish the divorce decree.

Image credit: Indian Express

Also: Bombay HC Grants Unwed Mother Birth Certificate Sans Father’s Name

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