Centre informs SC of committee formation to address same-sex couple concerns

The government informed the Supreme Court that a cabinet secretary-led committee will be formed to address certain issues faced by same-sex couples.

Same-sex, Homosexuality
As per Samwardhini Nyas, around 70% of surveyed doctors and allied medical professionals consider homosexuality a disorder, while 83% report that sexual diseases can be transmitted in same-sex relationships | Representational photo: iStock

The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that a committee headed by the cabinet secretary would be constituted to explore administrative steps for addressing some concerns of same-sex couples without going into the issue of legalising their marriage.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, which is hearing a batch of pleas seeking legal validation of same-sex marriage, that the government is positive about the suggestion for exploring administrative steps in this regard.

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He told the bench, which also comprised justices S K Kaul, S R Bhat, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha, that this will need coordination between more than one ministries.

On the seventh day of hearing in the matter, Mehta said the petitioners can give their suggestions on the issue of exploring what administrative steps can be taken in this regard.
While hearing the matter on April 27, the apex court had asked the Centre whether social welfare benefits can be granted to same-sex couples without going into legalising their marriage.

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The court had posed the question after observing that the Centre’s acceptance of right to cohabitation of same sex partners as a fundamental right cast a “corresponding duty” on it to recognise its social consequences.