Ten Key Statements Made By SC During Same-Sex Marriage Verdict

Explore the Supreme Court verdict on same-sex marriage as it declines legal recognition, while Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justice Kaul's declarations resonate with LGBTQIA+ rights, advocating for inclusivity and cohabitation without threats.

Oshi Saxena
New Update

(Representative File Image)

Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, along with other eminent justices, presided over the constitution bench that unanimously declined legal recognition for same-sex marriages, asserting that it's a matter for Parliament and state legislatures. 


The judgments, separately authored by Chief Justice Chandrachud, and Justices Kaul, Bhat, and Narasimha, also refused to alter the provisions of the Special Marriage Act (SMA) to encompass non-heterosexual couples, even as they underscored the right of queer couples to cohabit without fear of violence, coercion, or interference.

Union's Committee and Legislative Standpoint

The Supreme Court recorded the Union's statement in which it committed to establishing a committee tasked with examining the rights and benefits that can be extended to queer couples. This commitment signifies a proactive approach to address the unique needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community, representing progress in the ongoing pursuit of equal rights.

Throughout the proceedings, the Union government upheld its stance that legislative policy and compelling state interests validate marriage exclusively between a biological man and a biological woman. Furthermore, it criticised the petitioners for promoting an "urban elitist concept," emphasizing its opposition to legal recognition for same-sex marriages.

While it acknowledged the need to set up an inter-ministerial committee, led by the cabinet secretary, to consider administrative steps to ensure certain benefits for same-sex couples in the absence of legal recognition, the government urged the Constitution bench to refrain from issuing declarations of acceptance regarding the rights of same-sex couples or their relationships.

Key Statements by Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justice Kaul

  1. Homosexuality Isn't an Urban Elitist Concept: Chief Justice Chandrachud's statement shatters stereotypes and underscores that homosexuality is not limited to urban elites, acknowledging the presence of LGBTQ+ individuals across diverse backgrounds.

  2. Marriage Can't Remain Static: The Chief Justice emphasised that marriage cannot remain unchanging and static, acknowledging the evolving nature of love and partnership.

  3. Legislative Responsibility: He asserted that the courts cannot compel Parliament or state assemblies to create a new institution of marriage, underlining the role of the legislature in shaping legal recognition.

  4. Special Marriage Act and Legal Provisions: The verdict refused to deem the Special Marriage Act unconstitutional solely because it does not recognize same-sex marriages, emphasizing that judicial legislation should not take place.

  5. Recognition by the State: Chief Justice Chandrachud emphasised that the right to enter into a union must lead to recognition by the State, ensuring the fulfilment of this right.

  6. Equality Demands Non-Discrimination: The verdict underlines that equality demands that queer individuals and couples should not face discrimination, and all benefits provided to heterosexual couples by the State should also be accessible to queer couples.

  7. Assumptions About Parenthood: Chief Justice Chandrachud stated that one should not assume that only heterosexual couples can be good parents, challenging stereotypes. It opens the door for all individuals to be recognized as capable parents, regardless of their sexual orientation.

  8. Justice Kaul's Agreement on Civil Unions: Justice SK Kaul aligned with Chief Justice Chandrachud on recognising civil unions, emphasizing that the principle of equality demands the right to unions irrespective of sex, gender, or orientation.

  9. Equality of Non-Heterosexual Unions: The verdict declared that non-heterosexual unions and heterosexual unions should be seen as two sides of the same coin, emphasizing equality.

  10. Opportunity to Remedy Historical Injustice: Chief Justice Chandrachud noted that this moment is an opportunity to rectify historical injustices and discrimination. He emphasized the governance needed to grant rights to such unions and marriages.

The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in India persists, and this ruling marks a crucial chapter in that ongoing narrative. While the courts may not have granted legal recognition to same-sex marriages, the acknowledgement of the LGBTQ+ community's rights and the commitment to equality offer hope for a more inclusive future.

Suggestive reading: Right To Union Equals Freedom To Choose: SC On Same-Sex Marriage

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