The Centre on Thursday (February 25) reiterated its opposition to the idea of ‘same-sex marriage’. While opposing a bunch of petitions, it told the Delhi High Court that sexual relationship between people of same sex is not the same as “Indian family unit concept” of a husband, wife and children.
“The institution of marriage has a sanctity attached to it and in major parts of the country, it is regarded as a sacrament,” the Centre said in response to petitions seeking recognition and registration of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act and the Foreign Marriage Act.
The Centre further submitted: “Despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage.”
Seeking to bring the matter under legislative framework, the Centre told the High Court: “Such relationships can be governed, regulated, permitted or proscribed only by a law made by the competent legislature…The question as to whether such a relationship be permitted to be formalised by way of a legal recognition of marriage is essentially a question to be decided by the legislature and can never be a subject matter of judicial adjudication.”
The government also said that the marriage in India is not just a matter between two individuals but “a solemn institution” between “a biological man and a biological woman”.
A joint petition filed by Dr Kavita Arora, a psychiatrist and Ankita Khanna, a therapist, sought enforcement of the fundamental right of choice of partner, after their application for solemnisation of marriage under the SMA was rejected.
Another petition, filed by Parag Vijay Mehta –– an OCI card holder, and Vaibhav Jain, an Indian citizen –– who married in Washington DC in 2017 –– sought direction for registration of marriage under the FMA after they were denied the same by the Consulate General of India at New York.
Abhijit Iyer Mitra had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking recognition of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act.