Supreme Court to consider legalising same-sex marriage, issues notice to Centre

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The Supreme Court of India has decided to consider the application to legalize same-sex marriage in India under the Special Marriage Act. The Supreme Court has also issued an advisory to the Indian government to legalize same-sex marriages and alliances between members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli issued an opinion to the Center and the Attorney General regarding the petition.

The move follows a petition filed this month by a couple. In their petition, the couple drew inspiration from previous landmark rulings in India, including one declaring privacy a fundamental right and another that decriminalized gay sex in 2018.

In its judgment, the supreme court also noted that various pleas relating to same-sex marriage issues were heard by various high courts, including in Kerala and Delhi. He also noted that the Center had told HC that the ministry was taking steps to transfer all appeals to the Supreme Court.

The petitioners argued that their ban on marriage violates their right to equality. They told the court that the ability to marry had implications for personal freedom, adoption and financial matters.

According ANIthe petitioners stated that they have been in love and had a relationship with each other for the past seventeen years and are currently raising two children together but unfortunately , the fact that they cannot legally celebrate their marriage has resulted in a situation where the two petitioners cannot have a legal parent-child relationship with their two children.

The Supreme Court gave the government four weeks to take a position on the matter.

Legalizing same-sex marriage in India would run counter to a number of global challenges. Earlier this year, Singapore removed criminal penalties for same-sex relationships but did not allow marriage. And lawmakers in the United States are considering federal recognition of same-sex marriage, spurred on by fears that a more conservative Supreme Court could reverse its 2015 decision to legalize unions.

(With contributions from the agency)

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