12 of all G20 countries recognise such marriages


Same-Sex Marriage in India, Supreme Court Hearing Live Updates, 25 April: Arguing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Maneka Guruswamy in the court countered the Centre’s assertion that legalising same-sex marriage is a matter for Parliament. She said they are relying on the British form of parliament, whereas ours is a Parliament constrained by the Constitution, and the Constitution is interpreted by the court.

Supreme Court Live: same-sex marriage hearings continue on Day 4. Image shows a collage of Supreme Court building in New Delhi and people underneat a big rainbow flag at a pride paradeSupreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Hearing: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had said earlier that the Centre’s submission, stating the petitioners have given an “urban, elitist” view, has no data to support it. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra, left, and Express Photo of a pride parade in Chandigarh in 2023, right, by Kamleshwar Singh)

Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Hearing Live Updates, April 25: Senior Advocate Maneka Guruswamy in the court argued that certain basic rights can’t be subject to the whims and vagaries of either the legislature or the majority.  She added that these rights have been insulated from the exercise of the disdain of majority.

The Supreme Court continues hearing pleas for legalising same-sex marriages in India on Tuesday (April 25). Arguing for a same-sex couple married in the US, in which one person was born in India, Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra brought up the Foreign Marriages Act of 1969. She said, “Virtually every democratic, progressive country of the world has recognised same sex marriages. We cannot be behind. Even if it’s one person or one minority. We cannot deny them rights. This includes their rights of visa, inheritance, adoption, right to have children, insurance.”

The petitioners also previously argued that if the right to marry a person of choice is guaranteed under Article 21 (Protection of Life and Personal Liberty) and that marriage offers a measure of societal protection.

Live Blog

Supreme Court is hearing petitions to legalise same sex marriage; scroll down for updates from the hearing.

Why is the same-sex marriage case in the Supreme Court?

five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud and also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and P S Narasimha, is hearing a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriage.

The court had referred the pleas to a Constitution Bench on March 13, saying questions of “seminal importance” were involved. A three-judge Bench headed by the CJI had said the submissions related to an interplay of constitutional rights and specific legislative enactments including the Special Marriage Act on the one hand, and the rights of transgender couples on the other. Read our explainer on the specific issues raised by the petitioners.

And what has the Court said so far?

The Supreme Court said in the first three days of the hearing that it would not be looking into issues of personal laws, which govern matters such as marriage and divorce for different communities and religious groups, and will restrict itself to the Special Marriage Act of 1954. This Act governs a civil marriage where the state sanctions the marriage rather than the religion. Here’s an explanation.

While Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that deciding on same-sex marriage in India comes under the Parliament’s domain, the government is yet to present its arguments to the Court. So far, petitioners have discussed a range of topics, including the need for marriage as something that bring with it “a bouquet of rights” related to joint bank accounts, transfer of pensions, etc.

For a detailed recap, do read our highlights blog from the first three days of the hearings.

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First published on: 25-04-2023 at 10:49 IST

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