The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case to provide legal recognition to same-sex marriages. This ruling will change how we view our society nationwide.
The five judges bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud assembled around 10:53 am today.
The Supreme Court Hearing
CJI Chandrachud began his statement.
In his statement leading to the decision of the court, he gave several impactful and relevant statements. Explaining queerness, CJI quashed the idea that it is an urban elite concept. He said and I quote, "Queerness is not urban elite. It is not restricted to the upper classes of the society. Imagining that queer people exist only in urban and elite spaces is to erase them."
CJI : It is not an English speaking man with a white collar man who can claim to be queer but equally a woman working in an agricultural job in a village.#SupremeCourt #SameSexMarriage #MarriageEquality— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 17, 2023
He further talked about how homosexuality is not dependent on somebody's caste, financial status or standing in society.
While CJI Chandrachud also talked about the concept of marriage and how the court can't disregard domestic and personal issues. He said and I quote, "Withdrawal of the State from the domestic space leaves the vulnerable party unprotected. Thus all intimate activities within private space cannot be said to be beyond State's scrutiny."
Furthermore, he demanded changes in the Special Marriage Act (SMA) and said that the court can neither strike the law down nor can it rewrite as it can't take up the role of the Legislature.
Upholds Right To Choose
Chief Justice upholding the right to choose one's life partner said, 'For two individuals right to be united, their right to choose one's partner and the legal recognition of that union is important.'
'And failure to do is resulting in the discrimination against the LGBTQIA++ community'
CJI : A failure to recognize such associations will result in discrimination against queer couples. The Solicitor General said that the Union will set out a committee to examine the rights which can be conferred on such couples.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 17, 2023
Furthermore, CJI cited Article 19(1)(e) and said that the right to enter into a union is grounded in the constitution. Further quoting Article 21, he said, "Choosing a life partner is an integral part of choosing one's course of life. This right takes root in the right to life and liberty."
Court Passes Directives
CJI Chandrachud while refraining from making any changes to the Special Marriage Act passed certain directives to provide the queer community with the equality they deserve. In the landmark judgement, he asked the Union Govt, State Govts and UTs to refrain from discriminating against the queer community in the form of access to goods and services. Furthermore, he asked the govt to sensitise public about the queer rights and create a hotline for the community and safe houses for queer couples while ensuring that no person is being forced to undergo hormonal therapy.
CJI DY Chandrachud : There shall be no harassment to queer community by summoning them to police station solely to enquire about their sexual identity.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 17, 2023
Police should not force queer persons to return to their natal family.
CJI also announced that unmarried couples including queer couples can now jointly adopt children. While talking about marriage CJI said and I quote, "Transgender persons in heterosexual relationships have the right to marry under the existing laws including personal laws."
Suggested Reading: Same-Sex Marriages To Get Legal Recognition? SC's Decision Out Today