'Only man and woman make family': Centre opposes same-sex marriages
The central government on Thursday opposed a batch of petitions seeking the recognition and registration of same-sex marriages in India. The Centre told the Delhi High Court that living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same-sex individuals cannot be compared with the "Indian family unit concept" of a husband, wife and children. Here are more details on this.
"Living together as partners and having sexual relationship with same sex individual is not comparable with Indian family unit concept of a husband, wife and children, which necessarily presuppose a biological man as 'husband,' a biological woman as 'wife' and children born out of union," the Centre said in its response to three pleas seeking registration of same-sex marriages under separate Acts.
"By and large the institution of marriage has a sanctity attached to it and in major parts of the country, it is regarded as a sacrament," the Centre further said. "In our country, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values."
"Courts cannot give legal recognition to such marriages when statute does not allow," the Centre argued in its response. Meanwhile, the Delhi government has said that the court can decide the way forward.
Earlier, Justices Rajiv Sahai and Amit Bansal, hearing the pleas seeking recognition of same-sex marriages under three Acts - the Hindu Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act, and the Foreign Marriage Act - had asked if the central government's response would be applicable to all the petitions. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had replied in the affirmative, saying that he believed the "issue is common."
One of the three petitions was filed by Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, Gopi Shankar, G Oorvasi, and Giti Thadani, who argued the conception of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act allows for same-sex marriages. The other two pleas had sought registration of same-sex marriages under the Special Marriage Act and the Foreign Marriage Act. The matter will next be heard on April 20.