News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » SC verdict on same-sex marriage evokes mixed reactions from LGBTQ community

SC verdict on same-sex marriage evokes mixed reactions from LGBTQ community

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
October 17, 2023 16:53 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

The Supreme Court judgment on the legality of same-sex marriage elicited mixed responses from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or LGBTQ activists, with one section hailing parts of the Constitution Bench's order, while others expressing dissatisfaction as it did not legalise same-gender weddings.

IMAGE: Members of the LGBTQ+ community take part in a pride rally in Kolkata. Photograph: ANI Photo

The court can't make law but only interpret it and it is for Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud who headed the bench said in his ruling.


The bench also said that the ability to choose a life partner goes to the roots of the right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

“This is historic! Transgenders inside heterosexual relations are right away given the right to marry, rights to adoption and for whole LGBTQIA+ umbrella,” said Bappaditya Mukherjee, founder and director of ‘Prantakatha', an NGO.

“The SC has directed both the Centre and state governments to facilitate all constitutional privileges to the community through law in an expedited manner with specific directions with respect to privileges associated with civil union,” he said.

The apex court directed the Centre, states and UTs to take steps to sensitise the public about queer rights and ensure that inter-sex children are not allowed sex-change operations at an age they cannot fully comprehend the consequence.

Non-heterosexual and heterosexual unions must be seen as both sides of the same coin, said Justice SK Kaul, a member of the Constitution Bench.

“I see this as a powerful and important way ahead not only for the LGBTQIA+ community, but also for unmarried couples, couples in romantic reactions. Also being the largest democracy in the world, this judgement will pave equity for millions across countries,” Mukherjee said.

However, Samata Biswas, a professor at Sanskrit College and University, who teaches gender studies, is not euphoric.

“The Supreme Court denying marriage equality to same-gender couples, and pushing it to the currently regressive legislature is definitely a setback for the queer movement in India,” she said.

The five-judge Constitution bench refused to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages and said it is the job of Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act.

“While matrimony is not and should not be the only form of recognised partnership, denying marriage equality strengthens regressive and conservative voices in society,” Biswas, also Secretary of Calcutta Research Group, a thinktank.

Directing the Centre, states and Union Territories to ensure the queer community is not discriminated against, the CJI, who is heading the constitution bench, said queer is a natural phenomenon known for ages and is neither urban nor elitist.

Some of the petitioners had urged the apex court to use its plenary power, "prestige and moral authority" to push society to acknowledge such a union which would ensure LGBTQIA+ lead a "dignified" life like heterosexuals.

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, asexual and ally persons.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024