SC Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage to be Heard Next on April 18

NEW DELHI: The SC has posted the hearing of another batch of pleas seeking the legal validation of same-sex marriage for April 18. The Supreme Court noted that legalizing same-sex marriage in India is a ‘seminal Issue’ and noted that a constitution bench of five judges would further make a decision on the plea. The petitions will be live-streamed it added.

The apex court today heard the pleas that sought the right to marry a person of one’s choice extended to LGBTQIA+ citizens as well. The Centre has however opposed the legalization saying it would disrupt the balance of personal laws and accepted societal values. It urged the apex court not to cut short arguments of either side on the issue of same-sex marriage saying the verdict will affect society as a whole.

The government submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court on Sunday, in which it said the state interest restricts the recognition of marriage only between heterosexual couples. It, however, clarified that same-sex relations are not unlawful.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday the government does not “disturb” the personal freedom and activities of individuals but the issue related to the institution of marriage was a matter of policy.

Despite the decriminalization of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognized under the laws of the country, it said.

The State does not recognize non-heterosexual forms of marriages or unions or personal understandings of relationships between individuals in society but the same are not unlawful, it added.

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