SAME SEX MARRIAGE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Social Issues)

News-CRUX-10     17th October 2023        
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Context: The Supreme Court will recently announce its decision on legal recognition for same-sex marriages, following a 10-day hearing by a five-judge Constitution bench presided over by CJI of India.

  • While the petitioners have sought legal recognition by re- wording The Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954, the Centre has maintained that the matter is sensitive and is best left to the legislature.

Same-Sex Marriage

  • Marriage between two men or two women is the practice known as same-sex marriage.
  • In most countries worldwide, laws, religious beliefs, and customs have regulated same-sex marriage.
  • Over 30 countries legally perform and recognize marriages between same-sex couples as of 2022.
  • Mexico is the most recent country to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • The right to marry is not expressly recognized either as a fundamental or constitutional right under the Indian Constitution.

Special Marriage Act, 1954

  • It is an Indian law that establishes a legal framework for marriages between individuals of diverse religions or castes.
  • It primarily regulates civil marriages, with the state's endorsement rather than religious institutions.
  • In India, the legal recognition of both civil and religious marriages mirrors the provisions of the UK's Marriage Act of 1949.
  • Applicability: The Act is applicable to individuals of all faiths, encompassing Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, and Buddhists, throughout India.