At present, the Supreme Court is considering a series of petitions requesting lawful recognition of same-sex marriages. Despite the central government’s recent reaffirmation of its opposition to such legal action. The government argued that legalizing same-sex marriage would be a “mere urban elitist views for social acceptance.” The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and includes four other judges who will hear the petitions.
The Centre maintained that an order from the court recognizing same-sex marriages would result in a virtual judicial rewriting of an entire branch of law. It emphasized that marriage is an “exclusively heterogenous institution” and that same-sex marriage is an “urban elitist concept far removed from the social ethos of the country.” Moreover, the government contended that the matter cannot be decided by the Court of Law and lies in the domain of parliament to amend the law.
Supreme Court Hearing
In anticipation of the hearing, Supreme Court Advocate Menaka Guruswamy tweeted, “With the Constitution in our hearts. We go back to our court, for complete equality, full dignity and freedom worthy of our citizenship.” The lawyers representing the petitioners include Mukul Rohatgi, Menaka Guruswamy, Saurabh Kirpal.
The case’s timeline traces back to November 25, 2022. When the Supreme Court issued notices regarding the petitions filed by two same-sex couples who sought legal recognition. Following the filing of multiple petitions, the SC took charge of all cases from different high courts in January 2023. In the first week of March, the Centre filed its response opposing same-sex marriages. Stating that the concept of marriage involves a biological man and a biological woman. On March 13, 2023, the Supreme Court referred the case to a five-judge constitution bench and scheduled the Constitution Bench hearings to commence on April 18. On April 17, 2023, the Centre filed a fresh application before the Supreme Court challenging the petitions on the grounds of maintainability and asserting that the issue should be decided by Parliament rather than the Courts.
According to recent reports, the Centre opposed the Supreme Court hearing of requests seeking legal sanction to same-sex marriages
. However, this is not the first time that the Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue of same-sex marriage. In the United States, the Supreme Court has heard several cases related to same-sex marriage. Including a challenge to California’s same-sex marriage ban
. In 2015, the Supreme Court made a historic ruling that granted same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide
. The ruling was a major victory for the gay rights movement and put an end to same-sex marriage bans in several states.