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

News-CRUX-10     18th October 2023        
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Context: The Supreme Court recently ruled by a 3-2 majority that there cannot be legal recognition for same-sex marriages.

  • Chief Justice of India, said the court can't make law but only interpret it and it is for Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act.

Key points from Supreme Court's five-bench ruling on same-sex marriage

  • No legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
  • No constitutional or fundamental right to civil unions.
  • Centre's high-powered committee to examine concerns of same-sex couples.
  • No constitutional protection to civil unions and adoption rights for queer couples.

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.
  • In Navtej Johar v Union of India case: SC said that the LGBTQ community are equal citizens and underlined that there cannot be discrimination in law based on sexual orientation and gender.

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.