After SC decriminalises homosexuality, Centre set to oppose same-sex marriage

New Delhi: Following the landmark judgement regarding section 377 that decriminalised consensual gay sex, India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community is set for the next step, wherein they are planning to further their demands for civil rights such as same-sex marriage, inheritance of property, and sharing insurance, among others.

However, the Union government – which left it to the court to decide on section 377 – has reportedly indicated that it is likely to oppose any petition for same-sex marriage.

A petitioner in the section 377 case, Sunil Mehra, was quoted by HT as saying, “If equality of LGBTQ persons is now a fundamental right, then right to marry, bequeath property, share insurance (medical and life) are all part of this. We are asking for rights respect and dignity and it is unconstitutional and impudent to deny that. I am astounded at people who say that we cannot get these rights.”

In contrast to Mehra’s view, an anonymous government functionary has reportedly said, “Decriminalisation of same-sex acts was fine but the government would oppose any demand to legalise same-sex marriage.”

For RSS, same-sex marriages not compatible

  • The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – which is the ideological fount of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has also shared similar sentiments by saying that “same-sex marriages are not compatible”.
  • “Same-sex marriages are not compatible with norms of nature, so we don’t support them. Bharatiya society doesn’t have the tradition of recognising such relations,” RSS spokesperson Arun Kumar was quoted as saying by a leading daily.

Government not in favour of civil rights

The 493-page SC judgment on Thursday had spoken at length about how social norms cannot regulate constitutional liberties and affirmed the rights of the community without going into the question of civil rights. The government counsel in July had asked the court to limit itself to Section 377, and not expand to civil rights.